Compared to last week, this Shabbat was quiet. Of course, I'd had to have gone to a convention for last Shabbat to have been busier.
Because I'd done nothing on Thursday, I did it all on Friday. It really wasn't hard - around 12:30, I went shopping for the necessities of the day - chicken, a veg, a salad, challah, and then had some pizza. Came home and cooked the chicken. This time, I curried it - took Israeli curry powder and mixed it with water and a little olive oil to make a thick paste, and spread it under the skin of the chicken, which I'd gotten cut into eighths, sprayed it with olive oil spray and put in a 450F oven.
The adventure came when I picked up the laundry. See, the laundromat is one long block and one short block from my house, and across two streets - one two lane one way avenue, one four lane two lane avenue. I walked up the busier avenue because I'd needed to pick up some paper goods and I knew a little store would still be open, and I like the people there. Also, there was a convenient ATM along the way. I get my paper goods, and somehow manage to cross the two streets - somehow because I was unaware that the lights were broken.
Again. I must describe the intersection. North and South is a four lane, two way avenue (it's possible to have a four lane one way avenue in NYC.) It's extremely busy with many trucks, cars and buses. Also, there is a firehouse nearby, and a Staples, and it was Friday afternoon, which makes it even busier. Plus many, many pedestrians. The East/West direction is even worse - From the East, it's one way towards that avenue. From the West, it's two way.
And the lights are broken - blinking green-yellow-red - slightly longer on red. This is asking for a serious accident. Everyone around has called the cops, who have not sent anyone to help out.
Now that I realize it, the streets have become terrifying and I immediately decide I will only cross the east/west street and walk along the long block until I get to my own avenue and cross at a functioning light. Except. Except that I left my large package of paper napkins at the little store.
I'm not stupid. I walk, pushing my shopping cart with the laundry and the groceries, to my own corner, cross there, walk *back* to the little story, get my napkins, turn the corner and walk along the long block to my house. In all, I made two round trips.
Anyway, came home, took the chicken out of the oven and put it in the fridge to cool, and started the rice. I'd had the sense (and need) to shower earlier, so I was just relaxed. I wrote a little in a Vecchio/Zuko tale I've been writing, got the house ready for Shabbat, made the coffee and, setting the oven on low, set the chicken, the still cooking rice and a casserole of frozen peas into it. Made sure the lights were set correctly, too. :) Lit the candles right on time, and sat down with my coffee to read over the week's Torah portion because I was supposed to give a talk on it this week.
This was slightly worrisome - Pikudei is the concluding portion of Shemos (Exodus) and it's mostly read in conjunction with the preceding portion, but this year is a leap year with an extra month, so it's read by itself. It's basically about Moses completing the building of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle.) And that's it. I looked at the commentaries I had and came up with something. There aren't many that deal with Pekudei on its own, but I got a decent idea. Jonathan, meanwhile, had come home, showered and run off to synagogue for evening services, and came home. We ate a quiet dinner, discussing, well, everything, but including his need to say something in the afternoon, and that he'd have to read the afternoon Torah portion because the young man who normally does that was not around, and various other things. And we spent a...very Shabbosdig evening together afterwards. :)
I managed synagogue again, but missed the rabbi's talk. Again. Spoke to a friend who was very upset that she couldn't attend the dinner because it was twenty-one steps down to the hall, and no elevator and she's wheelchair bound. She could be carried down, but it would mean using her manual wheelchair, as she does on Shabbat and holidays - which makes her totally dependent on others to move her. She really wanted to use her electric wheelchair, because it gives her more mobility and more means of expression. So, in protest, she and her husband refused to attend. They were correct, and I told her that. We also discussed the possibility of her obtaining a power chair permissible to use on Shabbat and holidays. There is one, although she has to discuss it with our rabbi.
Lunch was dinner redux, except that the night before, I'd mixed the peas and the leftover chicken juices with the rice, knowing the juices would be fully absorbed by the rice by morning. Since it was dry, I could reheat everything. Came out very nice. And I spent the rest of the afternoon still trying to prepare.
And I got to my friend's house at 4PM to find that someone else had also prepared. Given the difficulty I'd had, I was actually happy about it - I knew I'd have a chance to air at least one idea I'd gotten *and* I would do next week, which is an embarrassment of riches - a very full parshah, a special Sabbath *and* just before Purim. Also, it's my wedding parshah (um. Tomorrow. English anniversary. Twelve years. Bat mitzvah.), so it's all good.
And it was as much fun as ever - I miss it in those weeks I can't go.
I got home just at the end of Shabbat. My brother came from New Jersey, and we went to an art gallery showing at my old synagogue. It was a tremendous success - the place had people from all over Brooklyn, including the local community. Including people from my *new* synagogue.
It felt very, very odd. Also, someone related to a woman in the parshah group and my boss' assistant and her sister, and...
They'd expected fifty people. They got a couple hundred. We bought a painting that had been already sold, but the artist said that that was the third version of that particular subject matter (a Chagallish pastel of a boy waiting for the Messiah at a train track, except that when a train finally came, it was to Auschwitz...)so she'd paint one for us.
And my brother looked like he was actively flirting with a woman from our current synagogue. I believe Marc is gay (he will neither confirm nor deny when my husband asked), so I can't see anything happening, but it looked. Interesting. He drove her home as well as us, but dropped her off first.
And there was music - a group called the Klezmer Mountain Boys. It's a combination of klezmer, which is eastern European Jewish folk music, and blue grass. And it works beautifully - the two styles merge seamlessly. The woman who organized it and played the clarinet is the student of one of the masters of klezmer, who happens to also be my husband's father's first cousin. They used to have the same name until Dad changed it. And he played at our wedding. So, just for us, she played a klezmer tune normally played at weddings.
Jonathan was crying.
And today, we have *nothing* planned. Luxury.