bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
2017-09-30 09:55 pm
Entry tags:

"the NFL does not need to fear taking a knee"

Today's subject line appeared in yesterday's newsletter from Bill Penzey, who posted "an open letter to America's CEOs about our experiences in facing right wing calls for boycotts," which can be read here and has received 47,000 likes to date.

Hubbard squash seeds

I roasted some Hubbard squash seeds tonight, along with the rest of the squash, an aging potato, and a spaghetti squash, serving some mashed squash with kielbasa. Earlier today I fried pancakes and eggs and baked a loaf of whole-wheat bread. I'm sipping chai brewed with some spices from the aforementioned Penzeys.

Another Asian American East Nashvillian who knows music and food is Alex Wong, who's donating the first month of his Patreon proceeds to Puerto Rico. Some of you may recognize him from Vienna Teng's tours.

I was so tired this morning that I went back to bed after the pancakes, and I'll be turning in before midnight tonight since I'm singing tomorrow. I've become a tad amused at how singing and dancing -- my bolder activities, if you will (timid performances serve no one well) -- actually keep me in line, since I try to get adequate rest and am cautious about consuming caffeine and other potential inflammatories before significant gigs or gatherings.
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
2017-09-10 03:49 pm
Entry tags:

delicacies and cats

This NYT photo essay on wagashi is cracking me up -- elegant portraits of sweets with cats:

Sweets as Poignant as Poetry
bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)
2017-09-04 09:01 pm


...Audrey had approached her husband, Grey, in the kitchen of their Ludington Lane house to say that she planned to marry Ted. She realized that "something was lacking" in their marriage; she considered Grey self-sufficient, she told him, "but Ted needs me." The cardiologist had stood silent for a moment as though he were thinking all this over.

"Who," he asked finally, "is going to do the driving?"

"Why, I guess I will," Audrey replied, astonished.

"Good," he said. "I don't want any wife of mine marrying a man who drives the way Ted does."

- Judith & Neil Morgan, Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography
bronze_ribbons: drawing of a contented bull (cow)
2017-09-03 09:58 pm
Entry tags:

eyes caressing the world

I am annoyed about being sick, but also fine with how it simplified my weekend, and relieved that I heeded my gut in refraining from making plans to head east, even though I'd looked with longing at the Old Farmer's Ball program for today (Mount Hills! Good Man of Cambridge! Picking Up Sticks (which contains sheepskin heys, which one teacher regards as proof "that hallucinogenic drugs were available in the 17th Century")!). Instead, I got up early, fried pancakes and eggs, and then went back to bed. Then the rest of the day was split between making phone calls, cleaning, tennis-watching, and catching up on some of the yardwork. Having belatedly read the full tag for the "Sky's the Limit" rosebush, I shaped its water basin and tied the two longest branches to stakes; admired the new yellow buds and the green tomatoes nearby; planted the geranium, tomato, and cactus cuttings; yanked and clipped and dug and hauled...

The subject line is adapted from Dawn Potter's recent post about Keats. "Dirt has its beauties" also would've worked, come to think of it.

My plan for dinner had been to make a tomato tarte tatin, but that was before I realized the box in my freezer contained not puff pastry but regular pie crust. Plus, after I finished dealing with the onions, I was feeling less inclined to follow the rest of the steps. So instead I shifted to Emeril's recipe for an onion and tomato pie, and while I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand, it provided enough guidance to get things good enough for my dinner plate. The final mash-up was along these lines:

* Chop one onion plus a couple of slices salvaged from a chunk in the crisper. Sautee in butter until soft.
* Defrost one frozen pie crust in microwave. Frown at soggy mess, abandon attempt to unroll it, and mash it across bottom of pie pan.
* Dump foil and pie weights on top and bake at 375 F for ten minutes or so.
* Chop half of a tomato. Realize the recipe probably advises slices instead. Sure enough. Slice other half. Season with the dregs of thyme-laced salt a friend had given me for Christmas two years ago, plus some black pepper.
* Startle the bloke reading in his car just outside my driveway (I'm guessing a tourist) as I scamper out in my nightgown to snip some basil and thyme.
* Mix one egg with the dregs (about 4 T) of Duke's mayo from the fridge. (Today was a great day for using things up; I also pitched some ancient spices into the compost bowl and shredded the iffy salted lemons in the sink.)
* Gingerly pour pie weights (aka old beans I've used for more than a decade -- probably nearly two) into mixing bowl and collect the ones hopping onto the floor.
* Scatter some panko over the crust.
* Lay the slices of tomato on the crumbs, in a pattern like a quilted star. Spoon half of the cooked onion bits into the spaces between.
* Scatter herbs and a heap of gorgonzola cheese over the veg. Drizzle with half of the egg-mayo sauce.
* More tomato. More onion. More sauce. More breadcrumbs. Some olives.
* Bake for 30 minutes? I set the timer for an hour, but took it out earlier when it looked and smelled done enough. And then ate half of it.
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
2017-08-09 09:20 pm
Entry tags:

Kodak rolling stone

A friend treated me to dim sum at Hei La Moon earlier this week, and amiably agreed to share a plate of black sesame rolls among the other dishes I pointed at (turnip cakes, Chinese broccoli, and har kow).

I didn't really manage to explain how the dessert inspired a fic I wrote seven years ago, but we agreed that it was delicious.

Also in Boston: Friendly Toast with [personal profile] marginaliana, tea with [personal profile] okrablossom, and more radish/turnip cakes at Gourmet Dumpling House and Bubor Cha Cha. Diversions included four hours of paddleboarding on the Charles and an evening with two good-with-children cats named after Jabberwocky terms (plus the children and their parents).

Prior to Boston: a week in Plymouth. Much dancing (and paddling, and a bit of swimming, including some skinny-dipping under the nearly full moon). Much to digest. Much more to learn. But first, unpacking (and getting through more of the 350+ emails that had arrived in my work inbox while I was off the grid).
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
2017-06-15 08:36 am

you are the holy sound

First UU Nashville hosted quite the ordination this past Sunday. There were multiple quotes and allusions to Wonder Woman, including in the program:

Rev. Robern's love of science fiction and pop culture was acknowledged and celebrated throughout the ceremony, including the charge to the minister (delivered by a colleague from Idaho with "Black Lives Matter" among the emblems on her stole). One of the readings was a passage by Octavia Butler. Her stole was brought to the with a Disney beach bag as its carrier (she and her partner had eloped to Disneyworld when they decided to make things official), and the stole itself featured Scarlet Pimpernel motifs on the front and allusions to various franchises (Star Trek, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy) on the underside. The music included "Spirit in the Sky" (from Guardians of the Galaxy), "Turn the World Around," and "Mystery" (which the subject line of this entry comes from).

For the buffet, I contributed a pair of dragon cakes (using a mold Musigneus had given me several years ago). Still working on my painting game, but it's improving; if I'd had more time (i.e., if it had occurred to me earlier), I would've tried harder to mix a turquoise to match Singing the Journey.

mixing cake paint

Because the colors were for dragons, I used smoked rum as the binder for the Pharaoh Gold powder.

Pharaoh Gold cake paint

And because my sense of humor is twenty kinds of inappropriate, I picked Devil's Food as one of the flavors. Hence Yellow-Bellied Dragon and Devil's Food Dragon:

yellow-bellied dragon cake

devil's food dragon cake
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
2017-06-07 09:17 pm
Entry tags:

pretty Paula Jane

I am near to howling with frustration and anxiety on multiple fronts, but there has been massive progress on others, and splendid things do abound. My hands are scented with the coriander I accidentally harvested tonight. (I'd forgotten planting it in its quadrant of an herb pot, and absent-mindedly assumed the out-of-control fronds belonged to some weird variety of parsley until I took a closer look at them inside. Some experimenting with the berries is now in the cards...) Some aging onions and carrots have been simmered with bay leaves from my big sister for later-this-week soup, and tonight's salad included a slice of preserved lemon, also from big sister's yard.

I spent last weekend with my honorary big brother, which was absolutely what I needed holiday-wise. Hot yoga, smoked bourbon, Blue Stallion Radler with Bavarian pretzels and dinner at Kentucky Native (where the rest of the table was amused at my selection of kale salad as one of my "pick two" orders and cinnamon rolls as the other), a movie (with a "bourbon cocktail" that turned out to be straight bourbon, which provoked further amusement), brunch, plant-shopping at Louie's Flower Power (because big brother is getting ready to sell his house and the realtor wanted him to raise the curb appeal by Tuesday), and plant-fluffing back at the homestead. I naturally couldn't resist picking up a few things for myself, including a rosebush ("The Sky's the Limit") and two Paula Janes--fuschia plants that have since delighted me with their bubble-to-trumpet groove:

Paula Jane

Paula Jane
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
2017-05-31 09:48 pm

"a trail of desire through the dark'ning dawn"

[The subject line is from Carly Simon's "Let the River Run"]

My lunch reading today: Rivers of London - Body Work (graphic novel)

What introduced me to that world: Philomytha's enchanting Of a Feather, a fic in which a character from Rivers is key to a scene in Sayers's Murder Must Advertise.
bronze_ribbons: Wawrinka with towel in mixed zone (stan with towel)
2017-05-27 08:00 am

lingering in Lenoir City

Well. My Astrotwins horoscope urges me to sleep in and then declutter, and as it happens, an insufficiently screwed-on cap resulted in nail polish remover dousing most of the toiletries I hurriedly tossed into a grocery bag in my haste to hit the road before sundown. Which clarified right quick what I truly wanted to keep, which was not the too-chemical SPF lip balm or the solid organic sunblock that like too many other sunblocks stays too white and sticky on my skin for most professional or social situations. I forgot to pack insect repellent and itch cream, but the antihistamines are in tow.

Also in said horoscope:

Later in the day, when the moon shifts into Cancer and your social third house for the rest of the weekend, you'll be eager to connect with friends and shift into party mode. Your festive mood stretches into Sunday, when expressive Mercury in your sign connects with compassionate Neptune and gives you entree into a variety of groups. You could widen your social horizons by hanging with a different crowd tonight.

Good thing I'm heading to a waltz workshop and then a contrathon. Though I was up late sipping from my thermos of Whirling Dervish cider (which turns out to me Not My Thing, but finding out that sort of thing is a thing I love about deliberate downtime) and reading Teen Vogue (to which I subscribe -- just $10 for a year -- because they are doing way, way better than most of mainstream media in speaking truth to power, and I want writers like Lauren Duca to keep doing that), so the odds of me hauling myself to tonight's contra and blues sessions are slim to none.

Oh, and I was making Roland Garros picks, of course. My selections for the "wooden spoon" contest:

1. Quirine Lemoine
2. Ana Bogdan
3. Irina Khromacheva
4. Risa Ozaki

1. Ricardas Berankis
2. Quentin Halys
3. Alexandre Muller
4. Daniil Medvedev

At the forum I frequent, conventional wisdom seems to be favoring Halep and Svitolina, with some votes for Stosur. Being the proven specialist in "out there" selections, my answer to the poll: "Pavlyuchenkova for the win; exacta box with Bacsinszky and Mladenovic." On va voir. Now to finish touching up my nails (new coat of Indulge My Whim on top of Secret Agent and Alter Ego) and filling out a full bracket...
bronze_ribbons: Dee and Ryo from FAKE in deep kiss (Dee/Ryo liplock)
2017-05-24 09:40 pm
Entry tags:

fic meme - 5 final lines

Via [personal profile] el_staplador: Share the final line of five of your fics ...

[Yes, it's been a while. These are neither most recent or most favorite - merely what comes first to mind tonight.]

[Yes, I do intend to write some more someday. And to record more audio. Which reminds me that I have been horribly remiss in not-yet-mentioning Rhea's podfic Ten Hats and Gallon (FAKE). Podfic! Wheeyay!]

In the meantime - meme!

And since he was alone - the rest of his family already asleep, as he himself should have been - Alexander buried his face in his hands and silently wept.
Everything Necessary to Procure (Political RPF - Hamilton/Laurens)

"Let us begin, then."
D'Accord, D'Accord (Harry Potter - Snape/Lupin)

And as the other man leans into him -- eighty-five kilos' worth of affection, passion, and challenge -- Roger begins to fingercomb the exclamation points out of Rafa's thick, dark hair.
Interrobang (Tennis RPF - Fedal)

She pours herself another bowl of cereal while I punch the button on the hot cocoa machine, and once we're sitting across the table from each other, we're exactly where we're supposed to be.
The Cafeteria's Got Everything (Dar Williams's "Alleluia")

The light fades.
One is One and All Alone (The Dark Is Rising)
bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)
2017-05-23 10:55 pm
Entry tags:

Robert Lowell to Elizabeth Bishop, December 29, 1955

In the course of thanking Bishop for some Brazilian champagne that helped rescue a party with thwarted matchmaking and sullen guests:

I sound like notes for a Mary McCarthy novel. Have you read her last in which Mary (divorced and remarried) is seduced by Wilson (divorced and remarried) after a Wellfleet reading of Racine's Berenice? In the last chapter Mary driving to Boston for an abortion is run into and killed by a red-headed Millay-like Cape poet driving on the wrong side of the road. Who can doubt that Mary really lives in her books? If she ever loses her mind, she'll never know which parts of her life she lived and which she wrote. She is somehow rather immense without her books ever being exactly good form or good imagination.
bronze_ribbons: drawing of a contented bull (cow)
2017-05-20 03:50 am

from Austin Kleon's SHOW YOUR WORK!

The technique of barbecue is actually very simple, but it takes years and years to master. There's an intuition that you only gain through the repetition of practice. Aaron [Franklin] told me that he trains all his employees the same way, but when he cuts into a brisket, he can tell you exactly who did the smoking.
bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
2017-05-13 03:55 pm

messing up good

Something I really enjoy about adulthood is being as messy as I want while cooking. The frozen blueberries the BYM bought some months ago weren't quite right for what he had in mind, so this morning I folded some into pancake batter, and afterward admired the swirls and gradations of color left behind:

after the pancakes

I've started the rice for tonight's effort, an adaptation of an okra casserole from Southern Living. First, though, there's a bathtub to be scrubbed, and weeds to clear out of the way so that I can transplant the mallow seedlings currently in the sunroom. The plant that survived the winter is doing well. Here's how it looked on my birthday:

French hollyhock (mallow) French hollyhock (mallow) French hollyhock (mallow)
bronze_ribbons: (tentacle sex)
2017-05-07 03:06 pm
Entry tags:

the long reach of fandom

Seeing these cookies at a Starbucks after today's workout reminded me of time spent laughing and drabbling with y'all -- especially [identity profile] ;)

octopus cookies at a Starbucks

And the recent "36 hours" feature on Tokyo in a mainstream US newspaper brought to mind fics shared with [personal profile] geri_chan, [personal profile] lysanatt, and the rest of the Harudaki deep-divers.

(I have not cancelled my subscription to said paper, primarily because access to its archives remains essential for my work, but the defensive condescension displayed by various staff members -- see analyses at Fusion, Esquire, American Orthodox if you need context -- has me irritated enough to cease linking to or quoting from said paper for the time being. As I said in my note to its executive editor, "In publishing writers whose claims wouldn't make it beyond a New Yorker fact-checker, and headlines that not only soft-pedal but normalize the Trump administration's crimes, [your paper] has plummeted in reputation to the point that I can no longer link to or tag [any piece from the paper] -- even nonpolitical ones -- without asking myself to what degree my own credibility will take a hit.")
bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
2017-04-08 09:47 am

complicated subdivisions

Listening to Minneapolis musician Dessa's "Matches to Paper Dolls" after re-reading her fabulous essay on New Orleans, which includes this:

Ninety minutes later, the Maple Leaf was full and moving. I stood near the wall with my beer. There were people who couldn’t keep time, people who could really dance and jazz dudes who could keep time so well, and in such complicated subdivisions, that it just looked as if they couldn’t dance. My little corner of the floor was populated by tourists in Velcro sandals, club girls in banging four-inch heels, a slim woman in suede loafers, a middle-aged guy dancing in hiking shoes. That seemed like an unusually wide array of footwear at a concert; I pretended to drop my pen to get a better look. This club is like Noah’s ark from the ankle down, I thought. Shoes are flags of cultural membership; shows I’d played were usually dominated by black boots and Vans — hipster standard issue. But maybe a city run by psychics, hustlers and jazz gods wouldn’t breed too many hipsters; there was no mainstream to rail against.

Current earworm is a tune from around 1695 titled "Wa' is me, what mun I do?", which can be heard in this 2014 video of a dance in Atlanta. My "someday" list now includes learning to teach it so that I get to hear it more often.

The videographer at last Saturday's Playford Ball has been putting clips online through the week -- I think the first half of the ball is now all up. I'm wincing at some -- I have so very much to get the hang of, let alone improve on -- but I look decent in others, and I did really enjoy the evening as a whole. At the start of "Smithy Hill," Priscilla -- a straightforward, down-to-earth woman with a firm grip (i.e., my kind of gal) -- said to me, "You look happy." "I am!" "Good!" ... and I acquitted myself well enough that she claimed me for "Good Man of Cambridge" the next afternoon. (There won't be official video of that one, but it was ridiculous fun, especially with Bare Necessities getting ever more faster and wilder -- to Mozart's Turkish March, y'all. I was cackling aloud at their riffs, and at one point said to Priscilla, "Now they're just showing off!")

The ball itself opened with "Mendocino Redwood," which I danced with Wendy from Charlotte (whom I'd met in Durham last month):

bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
2017-03-18 09:23 pm

getting Austen-tacious

Having absent-mindedly dumped the half-clove of garlic I minced right into the trash instead of the avocado/bokchoy/cilantro/hummus/rice bowl I was assembling, I am scrapping my more ambitious plans for the evening in favor of getting sheets onto the bed and getting me into said bed sans mishap.

The Sun Assembly DanceFest was wonderful, as were the evenings preceding it (SA's regular English country dance night on Thursday, and Triangle Country Dancers' contra on Friday). And on my way back, I made a point of getting to Asheville's Orange Peel in time for Waltz Night.

I am now in withdrawal, which I have been dealing with partly by going to other dances in town (blues on Thursday, contra yesterday) and partly by researching dances, workshops, and colonial/Regency/Jane Austen balls I could maybe add to my calendar/budgeting. I went to Goodwill's wedding gala in hopes of scoring something more period than my usual Saturday evening frock. There was nothing empire-waisted on the fancy racks that fit me -- my legs are shorter than average, and my torso wider and longer than average, which means zippers tend to stall out halfway up my back. This is annoying when I am trying on something deliciously intricate and fouffy for which I am unlikely to develop the requisite sewing skills to make for myself, but then again, intricate and fouffy weren't part of the original mission. On the regular rack, I found a plain brown maxi-dress for $6 that will do for the afternoon dance at Vanderbilt's central library later this month, and the trinkets table had a tiara and some earrings that might go with some other costume.

I also stopped at Designer Renaissance and Performance Studios. At DR (a consignment shop), there was a Sleevey Wonder that I was thinking might work spencer-style (I'm sure there's a precise term for what I have in mind) over a sleeveless light green dress I bought for $.99 last year (likewise as a Playford Ball possibility, though it is the right level of dressy-but-not-over-the-top that would also make it acceptable to wear at my day job). The sales associate and another customer perked up at the mention of Jane Austen -- I e-mailed the Vanderbilt flyer to the associate when I got home. (And, the sandals and bag I'd eyed a few days ago were still there. The sandals fit, and I felt a distinct pang of disappointment when at first I thought the bag had been sold, which tells me that I was right to go back for it.) At Performance Studios, I peeked at some of the rental gowns, which are magnificent but out of scope for my likeliest options. (Though I will be exceedingly tempted if I end up trying to get to the Salem 18th Century Ball...) The hose selection is nice, and I did pick up a pair with a low-key tattoo for workshop/afternoon wear ($8). (A lesson from the first DanceFest session: I cannot go sockless for long in my current most-fun pair of shoes.)

After hitting one more store (Dillard's moving sale -- I'd chosen not to buy anything during my first visit, but again, DanceFest convinced me to go back for the tights I'd put back), and the pool) and the pool (I will master flip turns someday...) and the gas pump and the supermarket, I stopped at Woodland Wine Merchant. This week's tasting was hosted by a Stolen Rum representative. The smoked rum is quite good, and I may pair with the red sticker as a future host gift:

bronze_ribbons: Dee and Ryo from FAKE in deep kiss (Dee/Ryo liplock)
2017-03-07 09:21 pm
Entry tags:


"When I can see problems and solutions others can't, it makes other people angry. I realize that it's not enough to identify the difficulties and know what must be done. One must convey the proper course to those who have the problem, so they might see the way as if they had discovered it themselves. [My sister] Jenny explained it to me, but I lack the ability to accomplish her ends, try though I might."

He gentled his hold, because she'd guessed correctly: he was angry, but not at her. "And if you cannot defer to those of lesser insight, Wife? Are you to keep silent and do nothing?"

Another sigh followed by a silence. Silence at least suggested Louisa was considering Joseph's question, and it meant he could hold her a while longer.

"I used to wish I would wake up one day and be less intelligent," she said, sounding very weary. "That is, of course, blasphemy, but I don't like making people feel angry and stupid, and I like even less when they must try to impose those emotions on me in retaliation."

bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
2017-02-27 09:54 pm

my first three-way

That is, sharing a lane in at the Green Hills pool with two guys. So, while it is true that I was barely clothed and breathing heavily and there were laps involved...

(I'll stop right there. Any more time on it and I'll find myself writing fic instead of filling out paperwork that has to be turned in tomorrow.)
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
2017-01-07 01:00 pm
Entry tags:

no room for demons when you're self-possessed

The subject line is from Carrie Fisher's Twitter bio. I learned of her death when I saw "Remembering Carrie Fisher" on a TV at Liuzza's, and one of the sadder things I saw later in the week was a sheaf of WizardWorld Comic Con flyers curled behind a machine or rack in a French Quarter coffee shop. The con is going on even as I type (January 6 to 8), but without Fisher, who had been listed on the top line of guests:

WizardWorld Comic Con flyer

I also saw two murals -- one on a wall with "RIP" prominent on wall, and the other on the door of the Krewe of Chewbacchus HQ. Friday morning, we spotted kegs being delivered for the second line parade to be led by the Leijorettes ("most ... are roller derby players").

Leijorettes HQ

A post I bookmarked while mentally drafting this one: TJ's goals for this year.

Speaking of fighting fascists, here's what Penzeys Spices has to say:

The stories of cooks, at least the way we see them, super-humanize. If it looks like you, or someone you know, are going to be standing in the way of the new administration, we need your story, and a recipe or two, and this time we can't wait until July. No doubt public school teachers will once again be on the front lines of the right's anger echo chamber, but we're thinking this time it won't be just teachers, and this is why we are asking for your help. This year, the list will be long, and we would like to get a leg up on any direction it could head. Clearly this time around the targets are the environment, immigration, gender equality, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, income inequality, and pretty much anyone who is in any way a minority in any shape or form.

If you, or someone you know, is on the front lines of one of these issues and have a good recipe or two to share, please contact us at, and tell us a little about your background and your concerns. And please, don't think your experience needs to be dramatic, or that you need to have some sort of job title to participate. It's the every day decency of cooks that carries the day, not fame or celebrity.

And because you may well be first up on the block, if you are one of those pre-existing condition-havers that have had a brief period of almost normal life because of the Affordable Care Act, please get in touch with us right away. The people need to understand your experience. Once again, please contact us at with a brief description of your story, and one of our gifted and friendly writers will get in touch. Please. We all need your experience.

Speaking of cooking, last night I scooped the Meyer lemon sorbet into smaller containers, and tonight I may proceed with this recipe for grapefruit-lemon marmalade. First, though, there is cleaning to do, but before that, lunch (a bowlful of leftovers, plus coffee dregs perked up with cardamom [from Penzeys], ginger, cinnamon, and coriander, with hot water and almond milk refilling the mug).

What are you cooking or dreaming about this weekend, loves?
bronze_ribbons: knife with bronze ribbons (bribbons)
2016-12-26 12:24 am

looking out on the Feast of Stephen

The Christmas Day service at First UU ("It's the Most Jewiful Time of the Year") included a dramatic reading of Lemony Snicket's The Latke that Couldn't Stop Screaming, led by the sabbatical minister with audience participation (congregants waving their arms and going "aaaaah!" on cue); a Dr Who reference (Rabbi Rami: I was hoping to watch the special tonight but my wife is insisting that we go out for Chinese); an extended Star Trek benediction in both Hebrew and English; and substantive theological points to consider, with the rabbi comparing closed systems (salvation-based) and open ones (hope-based). The quote I repeated to several other people later in the day : Johanan ben Zakkai's "If you are planting a tree and you hear that Messiah has come, first finish planting the tree."

Also: The thrill of hearing a professional soprano several pews behind me warbling through "Silver Bells" and other standards. The pleasure of petting my friend Victoria's therapy dog through the first half of the service. The hugging of friends and acquaintances and the talking about plans for dancing, performing, volunteering...

For champagne tea with my honorary mama, I baked potato wafers. The BYM and I heard someone very, very good playing the piano in the assisted living lobby when we arrived, and it was indeed her son, who'd brought along sheet music for several super-silly, wildly virtuosic seasonal pieces.

I was not feeling well enough to join the late-night crowd at Lipstick Lounge, but I did stay up to sort out a few things and to say a few more blessings...

second night

And, speaking of blessings, my thanks to all who responded to my Feast of Stephen appeal. I am full of gratitude. See you in 2017.