It must be...

A long time ago, in the magical decade known as the 90's, my then future hubby and I had a talk about the way things might be were we to come to a more permanent arrangement. At this point, we completely dropped the pretense that our relationship was a fling, the word "love" had been uttered in moments of both high emotion (ahem, it was college) and calm. At this point we both knew, as Ming Ming the Duck might say:

One of the things my hubby wanted was a kosher home. Sure, I thought. Not such a big deal not to have cheese on everything and hey, if I only ate bacon outside the house, that would be a good way to limit at least one really unhealthy food I liked. But there's kosher and then there's Passover kosher.

I loathe Passover.

There, I've said it.

OK, I don't hate the holiday itself. And a lot of the food is good. But the whole house, especially the kitchen, needs deep cleaning. The daily meat and dairy dishes need to be swapped out for special ones that have never touched chamtez (leavened bread) or stuff that's even chametz like. Besides the regular rules, there's no bread, no corn, nothing made on machinery that might have touched bread or corn (we even have to get new salt, pepper, sugar and oils because of that). No pasta except for stuff made from matzoh meal. But most of all, there's no beans and no rice.


Even people on hard core no-gluten diets get rice! Why can't I have rice? There's no leavening in rice. Rice is just sitting there, minding it's own business, being a beloved staple of many different world cuisines...except ancient Hebrew! I'm sure Moses didn't even know rice existed. Why is it on the banned list?!?!? It's not on the no list for Sephardic Jews. Why can't be be Sephardic instead of Askenzai for week? They get to have rice and I'm sure I have ancestors from Spain (that's what my mom says).

One of the worst fights my hubby and I ever had was just before Passover. I spent the day cleaning with little children underfoot and he suggested we go out to eat so as not to have to redo any of the work I already got done. I said, terrific, where to? He suggested a Brazilian steak house.

A BRAZILIAN STEAK HOUSE?!?!?! I'm going to have to eat pretty much like I'm on the Atkins diet for a week, spent all day cleaning while trying to keep an eye on small children and you want all you can eat steak?!?!?!

Yes, we resolved things (we went for Italian instead and I went nuts on the garlic bread) but my loathing of the holiday continues to this day.

This year we had an out of town wedding to go to. The weekend right before Passover. And Passover starts on a Monday. Did I mention the wedding was for his side of the family? (My side would have no clue when Passover starts, nor would they need to, but his side????)

Yeah, I went. I'm actually very fond of the groom and his family. His new bride is a sweetie! And I really like weddings too. I had a great time reconnecting with family I don't normally get to see. Yeah, I've switched out the dishes, packed up the chametz, and won't eat any questionable food in the house (outside the house is another matter; who wants to join me for a sushi lunch that week?) and support my husband's traditions and beliefs. Because in the end, he does support mine, even if he doesn't get them all the time. He loves me. And I love him.

But I don't love Passover. So there.


This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get to go to a Bar Mitzvah. It wasn't just any Bar Mitzvah, but one for a son of a very close friend of the family who passed away in October. It was a wonderful affair, with so many well loved and familiar faces in one place at the same time.

Oolong was there, as ready to dance as I was. She joked, "We're going to be those two little old ladies at every party who dance together aren't we?" I laughed and thought of younger versions of ourselves, dancing as teens to Rock Lobster, showing the preppies how it's done.

Another good friend sat at our table with his wife. A bunch of us teased him about future plans for children as we bemoaned the fact our children were near or at the age when they wanted to go on dates. With a sheepish grin, he remembered his dating history before finally meeting his amazing wife. We all remembered the days of being "smooth as sandpaper" while trying to figure out the mysteries of love and commitment.

The children had a great time as well. Most of them had known each other since they were in diapers, with Oolong's daughter (I dub thee Rum!) and Mike's daughter (I dub thee Coke!) mostly inseparable as usual (hence the names). The seating at the temple forced them to be at opposite ends of the pew but that didn't stop them from starting a giggle loop that had the whole row of children desperately trying to stifle giggles during a moment of silence.

That of course brought me back to the giggle loop my husband and his friend shared the day of Mike's funeral. I noticed that I wore the same high heels for the Bar Mitzvah as I had on that day. It was impossible not to notice Mike's absence, especially when nostalgia was running rampant, his voice missing in the conversations that went on that day.

It was also impossible to stay sad too long. There was so much happiness in watching the boy, who in his toddlerhood reminded me of a Hummel figurine, confidently lead a congregation in prayer (I dub thee Pepsi!). There was happiness in watching my son with him, joking around the way their fathers had done years ago. There was happiness in hearing the giggles of his youngest sister (I dub thee Sprite!) and my daughter as they ran around the temple. Wonderful memories were being made that day, and as much as there was a small ache in my heart for things lost in the past, joy for the present and the future was there too.

Now "Man On the Moon" and "The Joker" stops me in my tracks
Every time I hear those songs, I go back

I can haz writing plan! - An Insecure Writers' Support Group post

This is part of the Insecure Writers' Support Group posts

So I am going along, reading my blogs when I ran across this post by Magaly Guerrero (who in turn got it from from Ms. Misantropia who got it from Gypsy Spirit Rising) and I thought, "Lists...why is it always lists?"

Things like lists make me twitchy. I hate "haftas" and the thought of rigid scheduling makes me feel like this. But I know I've done great work when I have a solid framework to stay in. So I took this idea and applied it to the spiritual portion of my life, (I might blog about that later) and came up some specific tasks with timelines and everything - and it's been working beautifully. Yay! Go me!

And then Magaly and I started chatting about writing, and the process of writing, and I realized I could tweak this too. I already have my modest writing goal, but I could do with setting up a few more and I mentioned it to her.

Turns out that lady is full of ideas, all of them for more work! The great news is I have written enough small stories for a compilation or two and one of my short stories could be expanded to novel length. This doesn't mean I'm abandoning the novel I'm working on, but it does mean that I've given myself permission to work with other stories I've been feeling pretty good about (but thought needed something more). One the one hand, that seems like crazy talk. On the other hand, the idea of doing more stuff, playing with more characters - it's exciting! And it’s that bit of excitement, as mad as all the rest of it sounds, that I think will help me produce stuff I am satisfied with.

So Magaly, all this is your fault! Thanks amiga!

Yeah I know I used this song on an earlier post. Shush, I like it.