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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Shabbat



Got back from doctors. Stopped at the local bagel shop for an omelet and coffee, bought a whole wheat pullapart challah and some rolls from a bakery (and sighed at the lovely cakes and such I can't eat) and got what I wanted for dinner. I was just short of the $50 minimum for free delivery, but the clerk knows me and gave it to me anyway. It was only two bags, and neither heavy, but my arm hurt from the shot and, as it turns out, from a bruise from one of my sparring partners Thursday night. I know who - she didn't listen when I told her to take it easy on that arm and she hit *hard* when all she had to do was block gently.

Shabbat dinner was veal stew. Veal, carrots, onions, celery, allspice, bayleaves, a couple of garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar and a couple teaspoons of tomato paste. I let it simmer. I was going to serve it with couscous, but I couldn't find it, so I put a cup of brown basmati rice and a cup and a half of water in my rice cooker. It was done enough before Shabbat that I could unplug it.

I also printed out a half dozen Harry Potter fics, ranging from one page to 41. I would be immersing myself in it.

Jonathan came home and showered and refilled the hotwater urn and went off to synagogue after I showered and lit my candles.

I spent the first half hour or so reviewing Pirke Avot, a selection of Mishnah that deals with proper behavior and ethics. There are five chapters, plus an extra one of extraMishnaich paragraphs, and we read a chapter a week all summer, starting with the Sabbath after Passover. My Saturday afternoon Bible discussion group is doing them, and it was my turn this week. So, I prepared Friday night, when I couldn't even take notes.

Brilliant, no?

Then I began my immersion into Harry Potter fic, until Jonathan came home from shul and we had dinner. The stew came out really, really good. I think it was the allspice. Then more immersion until the bedroom lights timed out, and sleep.

I didn't have to worry about lunch because last week was Yom Yerushalyim, celebrating the end of the 6-day war. We had a luncheon in shul, which we enjoyed. However. And this is probably proof that I'm insane.

There's a holiday this week, called Shavuot, which means weeks. It's 49 days - a week of weeks - from Passover. We count every night, and with a blessing. Thus far, I haven't missed a day. "Today is the 45th day, which is six weeks and three days, of the Omer." I'm rather proud of that, because if you miss a day, you can't say the blessing anymore.

So, I've been counting and counting, and it wasn't until Wednesday night, day 42, that I realized, "Hey, it's only a week away!"

And my house is a mess. And I'm planning on making a dish I've never tasted, let alone cooked. So what did we do? We spent the luncheon inviting people to lunch on the first day of Shavuot. I have four guests coming. I'm thrilled, but I'm clearly insane.

The Pirke Avot class. Went. Here's the problem. My Hebrew is not very good. I'd planned on the fact that most people own the ArtScroll Hebrew/English siddur (prayer book), which has become pretty much standard, and which has Pirke Avot in its Shabbat afternoon section, so I could read the mishnah I'd chosen in English and then launch into my explanation. If I'd thought, I'd have taken the book I'd used, Rabbi Bunim's "Ethics from Sinai" with me, but, even though we have an eruv, and I hold by it, I don't carry a lot, and the lady who hosts our meetings doesn't hold by it at all.

And. They didn't have the siddur I needed, or any English Pirke Avot. I ended up using an all-Hebrew siddur and trying to read and translate. Partway through, I gave up with abject apologies, and just went forward. It seemed to go well. We got a little good discussion and a couple of nice stories and I said what I wanted to say - if only one woman hadn't fallen asleep. *sigh*

And then I came home and finished the fic. And picked up, at random, a printout of a Sihaya Black DS story. And. Well.

Let me generalize greatly about Harry Potter fic, because why not. I seem to gravitate mostly to Harry/Draco, because A. the enemies in love thing is a big button and B. I have a teacher/student squick. I'll read a good HP/SS, but I like HP/DM more. And, just like in HL fandom, I seem to be bucking the main trend in that I'm not in lust over Snape (yes, Alan Rickman has a gorgeous voice. Still.) Now, Lucius Malfoy...

(wipes drool) Anyway. I read a H/S AU set in a traditional public school, with "fags" and "maidens". It's very dark and relatively well written. I read two stories where Draco and Harry got married - once for love (and featuring Lucius raping Harry on what should have been his wedding night, and *sigh* impregnating him. It's called Droit Du Seignor. And its sequel. The other was because the only way to balance out an exchange of curses was for Harry and Draco to get married. They had...rather violent sex. For the next fifty years. *sigh*.

There was the story where a spell backfired and required Harry and Draco to be in constant physical contact or risk pain - and it turned out they were in love anyway.

And there were the stories where Draco discovered he did *not* want to be a Death Eater and the consequences thereof, including, apparently, falling in love with Harry. Lots of those. It seems to be favorite.

I rather like the idea of them hating each other, but also being physically drawn to each other. Sort of enmity with benefits. If I could remember how to write, I'd write it myself.

Otherwise - oh, the grammar. And the spelling. And the commas, the poor abused commas. And the Americanisms.

And the Yule Balls. Oh, goodness, the Yule Balls. Folks. Yule Balls don't *work*. They had *one* in all of the four books and only for Triwizard. They make a point of that. Does that mean there won't be one in future books? Of course not, but right now, it's what we have. Valentine's Balls are even less likely because, well, they only ever had the one, in Chamber of Secrets, and that was wildly unpopular. Given that Lockhart proposed it, it's not a shock.

And no Leaving Ball, either. We haven't heard of it, and while it's possible that we wouldn't (I mean, surely she should have mentioned Hogsmeade passes in the first two books, as the various Houses emptied), I have a feeling it doesn't happen. They have Feasts, which don't have dancing.

This is not Hogwarts 90210 (tm Lexin). You can't turn it into an American style High School.

Rant over.

Reading Sihaya Black's Pas de Deux was. Amazing. After that. Believable characters. An AU that made perfect sense. And smooth, beautiful writing that didn't make me wince - that just *flowed*. Pure pleasure.

Current Mood: tiredtired
Comments

Hey, I recognize those fic complaints...

I'm not much of a slash fan, but fearlessdiva's Tissue of Silver got a lot of good press. According to the website, she's in the process of reworking and expanding it, but the original is still available in her livejournal. I wish I could think of more good H/D to throw in your direction, but it's a pairing that doesn't do much for me, so I really haven't delved very deep. You might try checking out some of the recs pages, like Bright Shiny Objects. wereadshite has a huge list of recs sites you can check out on your own time.

I hope some of this helps; there's a lot of good fic out there, but Sturgeon's Law still rules.

I'm also very fussy about grammar.

Tissue of Silver is quite readable. It's also not a wip, which is good.

(Anonymous)
Random Comments (HP and Shavuot)

Starting with the HP fic--yes, so very much badfic to choose from. However, I'm thrilled with what Fabula Rasa has been writing. Her stories have mature , three-dimensional characterizations, plots, good grammar, and, delighting me no end, accurate references to literature and poetry. The pairing is not one that makes my heart go pitter-pat(SS/SB),but writing this good trumps the oddest pairing.

As far as I know, she doesn't have a website, but she's archived at Restricted Section.

Rushlight did a nice Harry/Draco/Snape that really worked. (I think I read it at Inkstained Fingers.)The last few HP stories she's written have been wonderful. It's inspiring to read her latest work, because I went to her site and read some of her early fic in other fandoms, and...err...anyway, her latest stuff is quite good.

And Shavuot can't come soon enough for me. I want a haircut! Lag B'Omer was on Tuesday, and the woman who cuts my hair is only available Weds-Saturday. And my last haircut was almost a month before Pesach. (Who has time to get a haircut right before Pesach?)

What are you making for your guests?

Karen

Re: Random Comments (HP and Shavuot)

I do like Rushlight. I'll have to find more of her stuff.

We hold haircuts are okay after L'ag, but then again, we rarely cut our hair. I did snip off an inch...

I'm making Jeffrey Nathan's Smoked Salmon Cheesecake. It seems utterly yummy, and I'd rather have a savory cheesecake than one made with artificial sweeteners.

I'm also making a field green salad and a vegetable soup, and one of my guests is bringing dessert.

cheesecake

I like cheesecakes to not be hyper-sweet either. Have you encountered cheesecakes made with ricotta (not cream cheese)? I have a recipe for one that's seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and (maybe) cloves, and it's quite yummy. Dessert rather than main course, but no sugar shock. :-) (It's from Digby, so most SCA cooking geeks have it. If you want the recipe, send me email.)

I'm going to be making a salmon pie that relies heavily on cream and cheese.

Re: cheesecake

It's not the amount of sweet. It's that I can't eat sugar, and I don't like artificial sweeteners.

So, savory just sounds *good* to me.

Re: Random Comments (HP and Shavuot)

Also, if you'd like a code, just email me.