rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
I rode my bike to the library today! I ride my bike to the much smaller downtown library all the time, but today I biked to the much larger one. It's much closer to our apartment, but you have to go through some heavy traffic to get there, and I'm a big believer in safe biking and not crossing busy streets if I can help it. But it's been so cold this week (almost like Sara and I brought that cold weather back from Arkansas with us!) and today was so warm and sunny that I decided to try it. I love being able to ride my bike to the library; maybe this will inspire me to pay my library fine, which, once again, is pretty high. Aunt Carla's house is on the way to the library, so maybe I'll bike there sometime.

I love being able to ride my bike, period. It's a way to slow down and notice all the cool and beautiful little things that you can never notice from a car. It's a chance to focus on the journey, rather than just the destination. That's what I love about riding my bike to services (which, unfortunately, I couldn't do today -- it was just too chilly after the sun went down). It makes me really see and appreciate the beauty of God's creation. It gets me out of my harum-scarum weekday mindset and into a Shabbat state of mind.

For dinner last night, I had a pulled pork sandwich with pickles and pickled onions, and Sara made yummy frozen cannolis for dessert. Then we watched Adventures in Baby-sitting (one of the few movies that I could probably watch over and over) while I crocheted plarn. Fun times, y'all. I have to log off and go to bed now -- waking up early tomorrow morning for religious school!

Happy February!
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
I had a pretty busy (and mostly fun) weekend here. On Friday night, our temple enjoyed the most wonderful Shabbat service with Marshall Klaven, our guest rabbi from the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. We also used him as an excuse to host the most delicious Shabbat dinner. There was brisket, kugel, challah, brownies, and Rebecca ate almost the entire saucer full of lemon slices that people were supposed to put in their ice water! I biked to services for the first time since last fall (I think it was the first time I'd biked all year, period -- it's been so darn cold!) and I can't wait until the weather is warm enough that I can do it regularly again.

Jacob (Sassy Jewish Grandfather #3) had set up a large screen in the social hall, and during dinner, we watched a compilation of clips of local news coverage of our temple from the '90s and early '00s. There were segments about our annual corn-beef sandwich sale and Hannukah latke dinner, among other things. I almost died laughing when I saw the hairstyle that one Sassy Jewish Grandmother wore during the '90s, and I saw the same hat stand and silverware holder in our social hall that we still have today! I wonder how old those things are? Also, right before services, one couple in our temple got officially engaged! He proposed to her right there in the temple, and every old Jewish lady in the place started bawling. It was a very special evening.

On Saturday, my mom and I saw Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1's latest play in a theater downtown. He's playing Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie, and he was so good. The play was a bit too sappy for my taste, though. Mom read the book and liked it, which I think was the only reason she agreed to go (she's not keen on meeting anyone from the temple). Practically the whole congregation was there, because none of us wanted to miss Rabbi Klaven's service and come on premiere night. I tried to hang around and talk to them after the play, but Mom was practically shoving me out the door.

And on Sunday, I got together with Briana again. Can you guess what we did? That's right, we walked the mall again. *sigh* She did seem less bored out of her skull than usual, though. I was just irked that every store seemed to be playing the Rihanna song "Diamonds." Ugh, I got so sick of it. Anyway, I'm hoping that later this month or next month, we can go to one of the Mardi Gras events around town. I just don't know.

From the mall, I went straight to the hospital (yeah, that was a change of scene) to spend the night with Mrs. S again. It was very stressful and exhausting. I collapsed into bed as soon as I got home, and stayed there until it was time to go to work. I hope she gets better soon, because I really don't want to spend the night there again, but I also don't think I could say no. I keep thinking that as hard as it is for me to spend the night in that recliner, it has to be way worse for her elderly husband. Ugh.

But there is good stuff to look forward to this week -- tomorrow, another new episode of NCIS, and on Wednesday, going to the movies with Sara!!!
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
I don't think I've ever been so happy to have a Shabbat service over with as I was last night! I still can't quite believe that I actually conducted a decent service as lay leader at my temple. I wasn't planning on posting anything about it, but it was kinda a "Shehekianu" moment for me, so here are some notes.

Of course, the evening had some bumps in it. For perhaps the first time in the two years I've been attending this temple, I arrived there early to set up. Only to find the whole place was locked! Apparently I arrived too early, and beat even Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2, who has the keys. So I called him, told him to get his butt over there ("I just to kennel my dogs first") and waited in the dark courtyard for about ten minutes until he pulled up. Other bumps were that I made at least one mistake that I noticed (asked the congregation to stand up when they were supposed to sit down) and probably a few others that I didn't. Also, the bimah was freakin' sweltering! I'd never stood up there for very long before, and I don't know if it was me or the bright lights or how nervous I was, but I was sweating like a Baptist preacher! Ugh!

For the most part, I read straight from the siddur, without ever raising my head to look at everyone, lest I panic and clam up, but I did try to give it a few personal touches, too. In the space allotted for a sermon, I played Matisyahu's Hanukkah song "Miracle" from my iPod speaker, then I blathered incoherently about faith and miracles. I talked a little about the connection between the Maccabees and the Mi Chamocha before we sang the song, and before the Kaddish, in addition to the names on our yartzheit list, I read the names of a few Jewish sailors, soldiers, and Marines who were killed during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. (An idea I got from summer camp, where they read the names of the Israeli athletes killed in Munich at the Shabbat service during the Olympics.)

To unwind from all that, Sara and I spent the evening at Mom's house, watching Star Trek episodes with Adam. Have you ever heard a funnier exchange than:
Picard: Good Lord, didn't anybody here build ships in bottles when they were boys?
Warf: I did not play with toys.
Data: I was never a boy.
O'Brien: I did, sir.
Picard: Thank you, Mr. O'Brien.

Tonight was the first night of Hanukkah, and I didn't do anything except light the first candle by myself. But I hope to open presents and maybe even try cooking latkes another night.



Happy Hanukkah!
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
As of today, only ONE WEEK LEFT until I have to conduct services! Oh, noes! Fortunately, a very sweet, Hebrew-knowledgeable lady from my temple offered to help me practice, so yesterday evening, I drove out to her house in Swanky Subdivision Land (where all the Jews in this city, except Rebecca, seem to live!). We read through the siddur, practiced some Hebrew, and watched some music videos by Matisyahu and The Maccabeats. I'm thinking about playing his Hanukkah song "Miracle" during my service, since it'll be the last Shabbat before Hanukkah. But really, I haven't decided on that or on a lot of things. Like, do I want to include the Hatzi Kaddish or skip it? Should I sing or speak the Aleinu? Oy vey. I need to get it together!

Anyway, they invited me to stay for dinner -- ew, healthy food! -- and then I ended up playing with puzzle erasers and American Dolls with her daughter Sarah, who hasn't even had her bat mitzvah yet but would probably be a better lay leader than me. She had the Kaya, Marie-Grace, Rebecca, and Kenani dolls, but she'd switched their clothes around, which confused me. I never had an American Girl doll, just the catalog, so I actually enjoyed it. Yes, this is what Rebecca considers fun; I just never grew up. :)

Sarah also goes to my old school and has the same horrid PE coach that I used to have! As soon as she said her name, it was like an entire year of repressed PE classes came back to the surface. I can't believe that lady is still teaching PE and torturing kids! Ugh! But it was a really fun evening. I also brought my crocheted plarn mat over to show them, since we made plarn together back here. Unrolled, the mat was taller than both Sarah and her mom! (They're short people.)



Sarah and me holding the huge plarn mat!

This is what I've been crocheting all these months.

At services this evening, we had a lovely ceremony and oneg for a couple who renewed their vows. It was the closest I've come yet to attending a Jewish wedding. I'd been asked beforehand to bring a dessert food, which I don't usually do. So I baked Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, with a little cherry pie filling rolled up inside each one, then topped them with powdered sugar. They weren't the best dessert there, but they were pretty tasty and easy. Oh, and during the service, our temple president announced to everyone that I would be the lay leader next week. Ugh! I wanted to strangle her.

In other news, I was off from work today, but had to wake up early for a job interview! (The lady who interviewed me kept winking at me, which confused me to no end. Was she trying to tell me I'd gotten the job? Hitting on me? Both? Neither? Facial tic?) And I'm going to be waking up early for the next three days for religious school, work, and an dr. appointment! Ugh!

P.S. On the art calendar, I'm looking at On the Road from Versailles to Louveciennes, an 1879 oil painting by Alfred Sisley.
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
On Halloween night, Sara and I stayed up late watching a scary movie (Insidious -- so spooky) and eating candy. And really, what more can you ask for on Halloween? We also tried to get Tovah to go along with a costume. It was a tiny witch hat made for a dog, so it was a bit too big on her and didn't really work out. I have a feeling she's plotting her revenge on us.

On Friday, we drove to Beaumont for the day to eat at Red Lobster (Sara has had a slight scary obsession with eating at a Red Lobster for about the past ten years) and attend Shabbat services at the temple there. Their congregation seemed small, about the same size as ours, but their temple was SO big and beautiful. My jaw dropped when I saw the huge stained-glass windows depicting different scenes from the Torah. They used a different, more modern siddur, but their service was pretty similar to ours; the same songs, just different melodies. There aren't a lot of synagogues/temples in the south, so I'm glad I was able to go to a different one. I've been a Jew for over a year now, but I've only ever attended services at three places, and one of those was at summer camp!

Sitting for so long on the drive there and back, at Red Lobster, then at temple did not make my butt happy, though.

Today I'm being lazy and watching old NCIS episodes, but I am going to do my laundry and clean my room. At some point. We had to set our clocks back last night! UGH! I cannot stand this time of year when it gets dark so early!

On the art calendar, I'm looking at The Persimmon Tree, an 1816 paper folding screen by Sakai Hoitsu. The Met's webpage on it says this: "The solitary persimmon tree, bent and brittle with age, has already lost most of its leaves. The tree is crisply silhouetted against an unpainted paper ground that suggests the cold sky of a clear November day." I'm going to miss this calendar when 2012 is over!
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
This week was my dad's deathiversary, so his name was read from the bema during services last night. At least, it kinda was. The temple secretary accidentally transcribed his first name as Don instead of John on the yarhzeit list. (I corrected that right away.) But I'm just happy his name was finally read. It wasn't last year, even though he was dead then and I'd submitted his name to the list.

When I told Sara how they'd gotten his name wrong, she remembered the old story about when Dad and Aunt Vickie were being born, and another woman in the maternity ward told my grandmother she should name them Bonnie and Donny. (Ugh! Fortunately, my grandmother chose the infinitely better names John and Victoria. Let no one say she was a bad namer!) I'd forgotten that, and Sara remembered -- this has never happened before!

And now for no real reason, some funnies, courtesy of the Jews:

Sandy (conducting services): "And now, please rise for the t'filah." (The t'filah is the name of a Jewish prayer.) Paul: "What? The tequila?" Me (singsong): "Someone has a drinking problem." [This one happened just last night.]

This one happened one day when I found a lighter on the sidewalk outside the temple. I still have it and use it to light my Shabbat candles on Friday evenings (when it occurs to me). Me: "Paul, look what I found outside." Paul: "Okay, we'll meet in the courtyard after services. You bring the lighter, and I'll bring the joint!" [Damn, that guy cracks me up.]

Michael (Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1), at an oneg: "Rebecca, look over there!" I look away, and he immediately steals the cookie off my plate and stuffs it in his mouth. Yes, I walked right into that one.

Karen: "I'm sorry I couldn't come to temple last week, but I was in the hospital." Michael: "Oh, I hope it wasn't anything serious." Karen: "Well, doesn't every Jewish girl need a nose job?" [I died laughing!]

Rabbi W: "Well, I'll have to go back to the hotel after Torah study to pick up our dog. We have to check out by noon." Karen: "That's perfect because it'll give the men time to pick up something to eat for the men's spirituality luncheon. So they can go get their food while you go get your dog." Rabbi W: (offended) "Well, I'm not going to eat my dog."

Right now I'm lazing around with Tovah and writing fanfiction before I have to go to work. And I'm determined to bring my huge piles of paper and cardboard to the recycling truck today. Good Shabbos to you!

On the art calendar, I'm looking at Tahitian Faces, an 1899 charcoal drawing by Paul Gauguin. Maybe he was saving the eyes for last.
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
And have I fallen so far, and is the hour so late
That nothing remains but the cries of my hate?
The cries in the dark that nobody hears
Here where I stand at the turning of the years

 - "Valjean's Soliloquy," from Les Miserables

Shabbat shalom is the greeting for Sabbath peace, but Rebecca sure wasn't feeling any of that on Friday evening. Our temple is a small congregation with several different lay leaders, but one of them (the one who did services yesterday) totally grates on my nerves. He uses his sermons to wave his arms around and YELL AT US about politics and the election. UGH! There are not enough words for how much I hate this. I need to stop going to his services.

Today was the last Shabbat of 5772, and our temple marked the occassion with havdalah and tashlich services at the 9/11 Memorial on the lakefront. (The three little American flags I left on Grandma's birthday were still there.) We had a bigger turn-out and nicer weather than last year, but it was held later in the evening, so seagulls didn't flock out to eat our bread this time. Yeah, a big group of Jews singing Hebrew prayers in public did get some strange stares, but I didn't care. As we were leaving, lights came on in the memorial's reflecting pool. I didn't even know it had lights and said, "Oh, that's pretty," sounding cynical and sarcastic, like I always do. Maggie said at the same time, "Look, Rebecca! That is SO beautiful!" There is something so enthusiastic and innocent about her outlook on life that is almost bittersweet to me.

Tomorrow evening marks the beginning of a new year, 5773, and I'm hoping that with it, I can turn over a new leaf. Lately I've picked up some bad habits and put down some good ones. I need to stop staying up so late, oversleeping in the mornings, and getting to work late. I need to start recycling again. I need to start cleaning my room more. (I was so excited when I first moved into that big bedroom, and now it's just become a place for me to lose things! My chest has been tight tonight, but where's my inhaler? I have no idea!) I haven't been bike-riding nearly as much I used to, and I need to start doing that again. You know how cranky smokers get when they haven't had a cigarette in a long time? That's Rebecca without her bike-riding.

We're having a dessert oneg after Rosh Hashanah services tomorrow evening. Last year, I brought delicious pumpkin bread that Grandma baked and let me take credit for. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. I got it from Grandma and gave it out to a few people, but I didn't think to keep one for myself. I took for granted that Grandma would be around to make it for me for years. So this year, I made bacon & eggs instead. I know no one will love them or want the recipe, but I enjoy making them -- and I made way too many! I better give some to "Briana" tomorrow.

And I better go to bed now, because believe me when I say I have a busy day tomorrow. Until then, there's my Tovah (on her bay window, as always) wishing y'all a happy new year!



SHANAH TOVAH, FROM TOVAH!
NINE ... DAYS ... LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
(We're in single digits, y'all!!)
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Everyone in my neck of the woods has been talking about Hurricane Isaac all week. It got a little ridiculous. Isaac was a Category 1 hurricane that made landfall on the other side of the state, and yet schools and businesses across the parish were closed for two days, and I even saw a few places with boarded-up windows, which made me roll my eyes so hard. For all that worrying, we had two days of 20-30-mile wind gusts, one day of rain, and our electricity flickered a bit -- a whole lotta nothin'. But I know I'm lucky to be able to say that. Other parts of the Gulf Coast got slammed hard.

Business has been slow because of the weather, and I've worked long, slooow days all this week. Ugh! This getting up early is really starting to wear on me. But Athena will be in town this weekend for Labor Day, and I'm hoping we can together and do something fun.

25 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS! And CBS just released a teaser promo, which you can see here. Have I mentioned that the premiere date, September 25, also happens to be Yom Kippur?! Why, oh why, couldn't they have chosen September 18? Why did they have to choose the highest High Holy Day in Judaism? Ugh! I had been looking forward to watching the premiere when it aired, but I'll just have to catch it online later because I really can't miss the Kol Nidre service. I recently had this conversation with Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1...

Me: Did you know the season premiere of NCIS is airing on Yom Kippur?
Michael: [nonchalantly] Well, you won't be able to watch it.
Me: [embarrassed] Actually, I've been thinking about skipping the service.
Michael: [horrified] Rebecca! It's Yom Kippur!
Me: But... it's Season 10 of NCIS!

(Don't worry, I'm not really going to skip services. I'm not that bad of a Jew. As much as I love NCIS, I know the Kol Nidre service is more important. I'm going to keep this countdown going, anyway.)

In other Jew news, they finally finished construction on R-street downtown, so biking to services tonight, I was able to take a new route that felt infinitely easier and shorter. Shehekianu! Shortly before I left, my sunglasses broke and while trying to glue them back together, I got glue all over my hands. So I spent most of my time picking glue off my fingers rather than looking at the siddur, but I still said all the responses. Finally Paul (Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2) turned to me and said, "Rebecca, how are you doing that? Do you have the whole book memorized or something?" Haha, hardly, but I've always had a good memory for text, and I've been saying the responses for +2 years now! Shabbat Shalom, y'all!
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Shabbat services at temple tonight marked a very special occasion for me (and for Rabbi W, who is finally back in Louisiana after a trip to visit family in Israel, where he fell ill, had to be hospitalized, and worried the crap out of all of us). Today, August 10, is the one-year anniversary of my conversion to Judaism. My entry on that day is back here. It's hard to believe it's been a year already! A year ago, I never would've thought that I'd get roped into teaching Jewish Sunday School, or that I'd spend a week at a Jewish summer camp.

While I'm grateful to be Jewish and it has enriched my life in many ways, there are certain things I didn't know before I converted that I now wish I had.


More complicated thoughts under the cut. )

As an aside, I rode my bike to services tonight, which I haven't done in a while, and I'm a little embarrassed by how quickly I felt out-of-breath and exhausted. I really hope I can start bike-riding in earnest again once the weather is cooler. I pushed two little kids in my congregation (who will both be new students in religious school in the fall) around on my bike after services tonight, and they loved it.

45 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
I've been looking forward to Friday all week, because I've heard that the Shabbat evening services here are really special. And guess what? Today was the only day -- out of my entire week at this camp -- when it RAINED! Ugh! It started raining during lunch and continued on and off for most of the afternoon, but during a dry spell, I went for a walk on one of the hiking trails in the woods around camp. The trail ended at the edge of the woods overlooking a little overgrown valley. There was no sign of human life anywhere, just fields and forest, and everything was so still and shushed that it was almost scary. It was raining again, but just barely, and it was so quiet that I could hear the rain falling on the grass and leaves.

For Shabbat services, everyone in camp wears a white shirt and a pair of khakis (or a white dress, if you want to). I was very aware of how horrible my super-wrinkled khakis looked, but I tried not to let that bother me. I arrived at services a bit early, so I got to watch the counselors and campers arrive. As if on some invisible cue, they left their cabins, all dressed in white, and began walking to the dining hall from both sides of the lake, while singing Shabbat Shalom. Services began in the breezeway outside the dining hall; normally, it would've been in the outdoor temple, but it was too wet. We all sang Shabbat Shalom and a few other songs, including this beautiful one that the counselors sang to the campers.

May the Lord protect and defend you.
May He always shield from you from shame.
May you grow to be in Israel a shining name.
May you be like Reuven and Esther. May you be deserving of praise.

Strengthen them, O Lord, and keep them from the stranger's ways.
{I found out later it's from "Fiddler on the Roof."}



A neat idea while singing "His Banner of Love Is Over Me," from the Song of Solomon.

Then we sang HaMotzi and went inside to eat. The kitchen staff had the plain old dining hall amazingly decked out for Shabbat. All the tables were covered with white tablecloths and had a big beautiful loaf of challah on a silver platter in the center. The Shabbat dinner is "family-style," meaning that campers can site with their families instead of their cabins like usual, because apparently some parents come to visit on Friday nights. So rather than sit the other staff members like usual, I somehow ended up the single non-relative at a big table full of family members. I felt like I may as well have a billboard over my head reading "Look, she's here by herself! What a loner freak!" Sigh...



The campers holding their mini paper cups of wine grape juice high during the Kiddush.

But it did help a bit that sitting right next to me was a Sassy Jewish Grandmother with a very thick accent who turned to me and said, "Just call me Bubbie! Everyone does!" Haha. She was a pretty funny and sweet old lady, and the food was good.

Make no mistake, the Shabbat services at this camp are beautiful, but they're LONG. After the lengthy, multi-course dinner and song session that never seemed to end, we went outside to the temple for still more praying. The Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics was held today, and I think it was being broadcast during services. So obviously, I didn't get to see it, but one of the rabbis did talk about it in her sermon. She said like Shabbat, the Olympics are a time of celebration and coming together. But just as we pause during services for the Kiddush, we should also pause from the Olympics to remember the Israeli athletes and coaches who were murdered forty years ago, during the 1972 Munich Olympics. She read their names before we said the Kiddush, which I thought was really appropriate. The Olympics committee has never had a moment of silence or anything to remember the victims of Munich. There has been talk about this at the staff tables all week, and everyone disapproves. There's a good article about it here. I'm kinda bummed that I missed the Opening Ceremony and the Parade of Nations, which I watch every Olympics. But maybe I can catch it later.

But probably the most memorable part of services was when it got dark and they turned on the lights in the outdoor temple. The temple is right on the lakeshore, so the lights created this glare on the water that looked like some sort of strange mist. It reminded me so much of the verse at the beginning of Genesis: The earth was formless and empty, with darkness over the surface of the deep, and the breath of God hovering over the waters. It was almost spooky.

Whew, what a long, exhausting post for a long, exhausting service! Shabbat shalom from camp!

*falls into bed*
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
I haven't blogged in a while because I've been so busy working. We did inventory over the weekend, and the only good thing I can say about that is we all got free pizza and cookies. I had to close on Saturday night and come in early on Sunday morning to do recounts behind the inventory crew. Ugh! I even climbed up into topstock, which I'd never done before. It was kinda cool and scary (topstock is high and the ladder is wobbly) but man, were my legs sore afterward!

In my spare time, I've been writing fanfiction and doing a little genealogy research. I finally added Grandma's death date to my family trees for her and Grandpa Charlie's families -- which was very depressing. I also added some relatives to Find a Grave and updated pages for some who were already on the site.


It's been pouring down rain here this week. We had such a heavy thunderstorm a few days ago that our power went out for a little while, and the thunder claps were perfectly timed on Friday evening, when we were reading a line from our siddur at services, "At Mount Sinai, amid peals of thunder..." Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2 was the lay leader and I was so proud of him. One lady in our congregation brought latkes for all of us to eat afterwards, and we ran out to our cars in groups huddled under shared umbrellas. I love lying in my bed with Tovah, listening to her purr and the rain fall. It's the coziest feeling in the world.

In other news, I finally did something I've been thinking about (As an aside, why does Rebecca have to think about things for ages before she does them? Is anyone else like this?) and applied with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I will post more about that later, since it deserves its own post. I'm going to meet my new little sister ... tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'll admit, I'm kinda nervous about it; I figure it will be bumpy at first, then rewarding, kinda like teaching Sunday School was.

P.S. CBS just released the premiere date for Season 10 of NCIS! I had expected it to be September 18, based on previous premiere dates, but it's actually going to be September 25. So, let the countdown begin: 76 DAYS UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
Our temple had a Musical Shabbat last Friday, and it was amazing. The entire service was sung by our choir, accompanied by folks playing the guitar, flute, drums, and piano. We had new melodies to some old songs ("Hinnei Mah Tov" and the Kiddush) and some new songs that Rebecca had never heard before, like Debbie Friedman's "Sing Unto God."


My horribly blurry photo of our amazing choir!

Uncle John & Aunt Connie came and enjoyed it, but they couldn't stay for the oneg after. (Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2: "Rebecca, where'd your aunt and uncle go?" Me: "They were afraid if they stayed too long, they'd turn Jewish!" Him: "Well, I guess they saw what happened to you.") We had a ton of food -- chopped liver, challah bread with raisins, chips and dip, deviled eggs, and platters of vegetables, fruits, and brownies -- and I ate till I was stuffed.

Yesterday, I spent the evening at Aunt Connie's having a plarn-making party. She started making it and mentioned it to some missionaries, who gave her a huge toteful of plastic bags, which we spent hours cutting into plarn. I had to give up on my first attempt at crocheting plarn -- crooked edges and tight, single loops made the whole darn thing crooked -- but I started over making double loops and semi-straight edges with a smaller hook. Their kittens kept jumping in and out of the bags and trying to attack them.

Tovah continues to be such sweet, quiet company (at least, when she's not climbing on the laptop while I'm using it!). Last night, she slept in bed with me and sat on the rim of the tub while I took a bath. She loves splashing her paws in her water dish, the bathtub, and any glass of water we leave out. It's pretty funny to watch. Speaking of water, I had a dream that I was having a mikvah and woke up with the most peaceful feeling.
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
We had a lay leader at Shabbat services tonight, and only a very small crowd turned out. (And guess what? Our social hall still smells like pickles!) While we were all leaving, Maggie decided to climb up on my bike seat -- which isn't easy when you have such short legs -- and I pushed her around. I was impressed, because I tried to get her to sit on my bike seat once before, but she was too scared. This time, she climbed right up there. Good for her!

After services, I biked down to the lakefront, where my city is currently holding a live-music festival that they hope will grow as big as Jazz Fest in New Orleans (yeah, right). I really couldn't care less about live music, but I heard there would be carnival food for sale, and you all know how much Rebecca loves carnival food. It was almost funny going from the quiet, solemn service at temple straight to the crowds, noise, and Zydeco music on the lake. I wondered around for a long time trying to decide between meats on sticks, nachos, pickles, ice cream, sno-cones, and funnel cakes!



I loved the back of this guy's shirt! Pour vous qui parlez français, il dit: Louisianne Association de Musique Française. This is the same amphitheater where the conga-drum line was hosted back here. Look at how much bigger the crowd is this time!


How cool is this concession stand? It was covered in historic old photographs of downtown city landmarks. I still bike past a lot of these buildings.


I finally bought a pulled-pork sandwich (YUM! I could eat my weight in that stuff!) and ate it in front of the lake, watching the sun set. No improvement necessary. Well, I was kinda bummed to be there by myself, but then a little girl whose dad was fishing off the marina wandered over and started talking to me. It was kinda weird -- exactly the sort of thing that young Rebecca never would've done -- but I made conversation with her until it got dark. And I was happy to bring home a cup from Let's Be Totally Clear, a cause I totally support!

I guess eating pork immediately after temple makes me a bad Jew, but going to hear a Zydeco band makes me a good Cajun!
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
I overslept and was late to work this morning, but the day has gone from up there. After work, Sara bought me frozen yogurt. Employees at her store are getting free frozen yogurt for the entire month of March, and she says she's going to get some every day. (I don't doubt it.)

I just got home from Shabbat services with the rabbi. Everyone at temple is busy busy getting ready for Purim, Pesach, our annual corn beef sandwich sale fundraiser, the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony, and all eyes are on Washington for the upcoming AIPAC conference. In fact, our rabbi will be flying up to DC to attend.

On the way home from temple, I biked to the grocery store to rent Midnight in Paris. Spring has finally arrived, and the night was so cool, with azalea bushes blooming everywhere you look. There were so many hanging baskets of petunias and impatiens for sale outside the store that I barely had room to ride my bike. There were also some little girls selling Girl Scout cookies. I bought a box of lemon cookies, and they're so good I might eat the whole box! Sara is out buying an Icee right now (she insists she can't eat popcorn without Coke or an Icee) and when she gets back we're watching Midnight in Paris -- with the only woman who can rival Cote de Pablo in sexiness, the breathtaking, beautiful, French Marion Cotillard!

And speaking of the French, on the art calendar, I'm looking at Avignon, Pont St. Bénezet, an 1836 photograph by Edouard Baldus. But if this is the fabled "sur le pont d'Avignon," then where are the people dancing?
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
I'm almost done with The Help, and it's so good that this evening, I was tempted to bring it to temple with me and read it behind my prayerbook during services. Don't worry, I didn't. I'm sure all my Sassy Jewish Grandparents would've caught me at it and been horrified. I sat in front of a relatively new young couple, and when Mr. D invited them to the Tu Bish'vat seder next week, I was able to explain what it is to them. (I'm pretty sure “Tu Bish'vat” and “seder” sounded like made-up gibberish to them.) It was nice, because all too often, I still feel like the most clueless person there.

We had such a small attendance tonight that I felt like I could hear the individual voices of everyone there, rather than just one big voice for the collective congregation. The weather was warm for most of the day, but by the time we got out of temple, it was cool. The sky was perfectly clear while I was bike riding home, and all the night stars put the sun to shame.

On Sara's art calendar, I'm looking at Tennis at Newport, a 1919 oil painting by George Bellows. The players are lifting their racquets in volley, and the afternoon sun is slanting across the lawn.

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