Someone to eat non-dairy cheese with

27 September 2007

I think I forgot to mention it here before, but there’s a new man in my life. He makes me incredibly happy. He’s probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me…well, at least to my apartment. I hired him to clean my apartment once a month, and yesterday was the second time he came, and HOLY COW it is awesome to come home to a sparkling apartment. Of course, now I’m going to spend the next few days living as neatly as I can, to make the sparkle last as long as possible…

…Oh, right, y’all probably don’t care about that; you want to hear about date #2 with Event Guy.

During our 2-hour marathon phone conversation, I mentioned that I vaguely wanted to hook my TV up to my stereo, but I’d never gotten around to getting the right cable. He explained that it’s a $2 cable, and he said he’d get me one and bring it with him when he picked me up on Wednesday. “Some guys bring flowers, but I know it’s all about the RCA cable,” he said. Well, he showed with the cable…and a single long-stemmed pink rose. Major points. (Enough points that he’s off the hook for being 15 minutes late with no explanation, apology, or phone call…)

We got to the theatre and realized it was basically our own private theatre — there was one other couple sitting several rows in front of us, and that was it. The movie was entertaining, and it’s the first time I’ve ever enjoyed Sarah Silverman in anything.

We went to Vivoli for dinner, then came back here and hung out until midnight. Date #3 is Saturday night; he’s making me dinner at his house, and I’m making him some sort of chocolate dessert (non-dairy, he’s allergic) that has to be so good he’ll prefer it to something fruity. Any suggestions? I have no idea yet what to make.



25 September 2007

I am trying very hard not to put all my eggs in one basket, nor to count my chickens before they’re hatched…

…but after 4+ hours of dinner with Event Guy last Thursday, a few rounds of e-mail on Friday and Sunday, and 2 hours, 1 minute, and 47 seconds of phone conversation on Monday night (and not a moment of “dead air”), I am very much looking forward to our second date tomorrow (Wednesday) night. We’re going to see a movie I hadn’t heard of, at a theatre I hadn’t heard of, then have dinner. Perhaps for fewer than 4 hours, this time, or else I will be dead on my feet on Thursday at work!

Speaking of work – still loving my job. It is such a huge quality of life improvement to enjoy my job. My friends keep saying, “Did you cut your hair? Use more make-up? You look different.” My answer is always, “I’m just happy.” Have I mentioned that I am loving this new year?

And in totally unrelated news, yay for doctors. Especially, yay for doctors who can diagnose something that’s been wrong for years. My doctor gave me some printouts of information that included the following gems:

Of note, nearly 40% of women chose not to seek treatment, and of those who did, 60% saw three or more doctors, many of whom could not provide a diagnosis…The huge sense of relief these patients feel upon receiving a diagnosis cannot be underestimated. Confirmation that the pain is real…is also reassuring.

Heck yeah.

Wacky wild world wide web

23 September 2007

JDate e-mail of the day:

Subject: Favorite movie
What’s yours?

Mine is “Stripes.” Largely because of the female mud wrestling scene with John Candy taking on five women. Not just because it’s every guy’s dream to mud wrestle with five women, but…okay, it is because it’s every guy’s dream to mud wrestle with five women.

Have you ever tried mud wrestling?

Search terms that led people here:

shabbos dessert parve
parve pie recipes
pre plated appetizer recipe non dairy
parve chocolate mousse pie
impressive plated dessert recipes
cake still not cooked in the middle
if dairy went into pareve bowl
dinner menu for night before Yom Kippur
castles made out of chocolate cubes
castles for boys
why are boys so weird
he told me i was pretty before we met but
we dated briefly he hasn’t called in weeks
my girlfriend always wants to go out and
always feel on the verge of tears
starting over after broken engagement
is my field boring or just my job
my bed shakes
conservative microphone shabbat


20 September 2007

(For those of you who can’t tell the players without a program, here’s the program.)

Dinner with the Russky last night (Wednesday) was, as dinners with the Russky always are, perfectly nice. And, as always, chemistry-free.

Dinner tonight with Event Guy started at 7, and ended at 11.15. ‘Nuff said. And for the one of you who cares, he’s anti-Yankee.

G’mar chatima tova and/or happy autumn!

Exhiliration and exhaustion

15 September 2007

That pretty much sums it up.

This is the first time I think I have ever had plans for all 6 meals of a three-day chag (which happens when you have 2 days of holiday on Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday, followed immediately by Shabbat). In retrospect, one meal off would have been nice, just to have some downtime. My schedule the last few days:

Wednesday: left work at 2.30, got home around 3.15, finished all the things that need finishing, showered, went to shul from 6 until 7.45, got home, tried to figure out how the couple I invited to dinner from shul managed to get lost (they eventually found me; they’d turned down the wrong street), had a lovely dinner with lovely guests from about 8.30 until I kicked people out somewhere around 11.45, cleaned up and loaded the dishwasher, then found that something was leaking under my kitchen sink, took everything out of the cabinet, put a towel down, tried not to freak out, and collapsed into bed.

Thursday: left a message for my apartment manager begging him to have a plumber look at my sink/dishwasher that day since I was having 10 people over for lunch on Friday, went to shul from 9 til almost 2 (seriously!) and led Torah service in the middle, went to a friend’s for lunch that was called for 2 p.m. but actually started around 2.45 because apparently all the first day RH services in LA went late this year, left lunch around 4.45, found out that the plumber would come at noon on Friday, assembled the strawberry trifle listed in the last post, moved furniture around and did some prep work for my lunch on Friday, went to shul from 6.45 until about 8.30 (and was asked to lead Ma’ariv, which was nice), went to dinner, left “early” around 10.30 because I couldn’t keep my eyes open, did some more prep work for my lunch, and collapsed into bed.

Friday: shul from 9 til 1.10 (led Musaf; afterwards the rabbi told me that my leading was beautiful and my pacing was excellent, and she might want me to lead Musaf on Yom Kippur), got home by 1.30 which left me plenty of time to get ready for my lunch which was called for 2.15, except that one guest was waiting for me already (he’d “forgotten” that I’d called it for 2.15, sigh), found evidence that the plumber had been there (a plastic doohickey in the sink) but no sign of whether things were fixed or not, had lunch with lots of nice people until the last folks left around 4.45, cleaned up (yay for paper plates!), took a 15-minute nap, carried the approximately 80-pound trifle (seriously, what was I thinking?) about 2/3 of a mile to my friend’s house, went to shul from 6.30 til maybe 7.45, went to dinner, left at 11, and collapsed into bed.

Saturday: slept in til 8.20, bagged up leftover salatim (hummus, eggplant dip, etc.) and grapes to take to shul for kiddush, bagged up whipped cream and berries required for assembling the pavlova at my friend’s house for lunch (she’d taken the pavlova base home with her from my lunch on Friday), went to shul (led Musaf), went to lunch, left early because cold + cat = sneezy sneezy sneezy, came home and reveled in the fact that I don’t have to cook, bake, or lead a service for several days! I spent the afternoon reading a few accumulated Wall Street Journals (plus all the articles my Dad clipped for me from the week when I suspended my subscription while I was studying for my exam), and now I’m catching up a bit on TiVo and trying to stay awake until 10.

In preparation for the cat, I took 2 Claritins this morning (I think they’re 5 mg each) and 2 fake sudafeds. A little while ago (so nearly 12 hours later) I took a dose of Tylenol cold (or something like it, it wasn’t labeled) which has proven much more effective than the morning meds (which is to say, the cold medicine was somewhat effective, whereas the morning meds could have been M&M’s for all the effect they had).

Tomorrow I am going to Santa Monica for Tashlich, then meeting with the rabbi at shul to go over some Yom Kippur stuff. And I am NOT cooking or baking anything at all.

PE (the cool minyan) is having a Yom Kippur break-fast potluck. A friend who was part of my meal-crowd for the last few days is also one of their organizers. She asked me if I would mind making the same cookies I made for their potluck Shabbat dinner a few weeks ago. I told her I could definitely make those cookies with no trouble, and I confessed what they were. She cracked up and said she’d keep my secret.

Rosh HaShanah meals

11 September 2007

I’m hosting erev Rosh HaShanah dinner and second-day lunch. I’m also making desserts for the other four meals (1st day lunch, erev 2nd day dinner, Shabbat dinner, and Shabbat lunch).

Dinner Menu:

Butternut squash soup (from a box, plus frozen pureed squash, plus lots of curry powder)
Pastrami-wrapped dates [done]
Apricot chicken and apricot tofu (coat chicken with mixture of apricot preserves and mustard and bake 45 min at 350; garnish with aprioct halves) [done]
Brown rice with roasted pecan and garlic
Zucchini with cranberries and almonds (couldn’t find currants) [done]
Green salad
Carrot ring (my mother’s recipe, see below) [done]
Flourless chocolate torte [done]

Lunch Menu:

Crudites [done, i.e. bought]
Stuffed artichokes (based on this, but quadrupled and slightly modified, including using canned artichoke bottoms) [done]
Chicken satay (based on the initial recipe here) [done]
Red onion and orange salad [done]
Rosemary potatoes
Green beans amandine
Chocolate mousse (see bottom of this post; of course I skipped the whpped cream since it’s a meat meal) [done]

Desserts for other meals:
Amaretto cake (this recipe minus 1/2 cup rum, plus 1/3 cup amaretto) [done]
Apple pie [done]
Strawberry angel trifle
Pavlova [done]

Mom’s Carrot Ring

3 cups shredded carrots
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine
dash lemon [juice, I presume]
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients and pour into a well greased tube or bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

I’m tired. Surprising, eh?


8 September 2007

It’s a beautiful day. The heat wave has broken, and last night it was actually cold enough in my apartment that I needed a comforter for the first time since about May. And I even needed the extra comforter as a jelly roll to keep my feet warm.

I got a last-minute invitation to Shabbat dinner last night. One of the guys at dinner works in sports radio, and it turns out that until this past week, when his job changed, he was the assistant to one of the DJs I listened to in high school, who is now a very spiritual guy. The DJ’s name is David Stein. I slept in today and practiced Rosh HaShanah musaf instead of going to shul. (It made sense in my mind.) Then I went to lunch at the home of friends I haven’t seen often in the last year, though they only live about a block and a half away from me. The husband’s sister was at lunch, and mentioned that her husband, who is ordained as a rabbi, is now becoming an actuary, and he works at my company for a woman I know. His name, too, is David Stein. An interesting confluence of events…

As for that stunning realization I alluded to last weekend…you know how sometimes you’re in a room that’s perfectly quiet, and then after a while, the refrigerator stops humming, and the quiet deepens? You thought it was quiet before, but now the silence is just more complete, more profound, even. Well, I thought I was mostly at peace with everything that happened with my ex, but now — it’s a more profound peace. I am blessed.