Measured Extravagance

14 January 2003 - 1:11 p.m.

Ways to resist brooding:

Sink into the three-hour nap I never did get around to enjoying last week.
Finish the mini-short-story I started last week.
Print bunches of labels. (Perform happy label dance upon rediscovering preset layouts in the M$ project gallery.)
Grind a dishful of vermilion ink. Letter some envelopes, a greeting card and a stack of business cards.
Write a condolence note (a friend lost her horse).
Write a congratulations note (a friend won a book prize).
Answer assorted emails.
Tackle the stack of photocopying.

Read an extended Taschlich joke.
Reread Le PrÍtre Noir's post on what should be taught at seminary.
Read a bit further in Arthur Waskow's Down to Earth Judaism, which included this anecdote:

Early in the 1970s, I went to visit an old college friend of mine in Baltimore. The conversation turned to food, and my friend's wife mentioned that she kept three sets of dishes: one milchig, one fleishig -- and one treyf. That is, one for meat dishes and one for dairy, as in the strict tradition of Rabbinic kashrut -- and one for foods that weren't kosher at all.

I blinked -- what sense did that make? -- and then said, "Oh! I guess you don't keep kosher but your parents do, so you have the two kosher sets for when they come to dinner."

My hostess smiled. "Good guess, but no. Actually my parents don't keep kosher either. But my grandparents used to -- they're dead now -- and my mother always kept the kosher sets for her mother's sake. That's the way I grew up, so that's what I do."

"Oh," I said a little faintly. "I guess it's become a tradition."

Contemplate baking something with plums and almonds for Tu B'Shevat.
Contemplate devising a vegan "deviled egg" (maybe molded tofu stuffed with aioli or hummus? Hmmmm...).
Dice up green pepper, yellow onion and button mushrooms to jazz up a pot of couscous.
Bake a pan of Pacific rockfish soaked in milk and dredged through cornmeal.
Giggle at cat's reaction to the "relaxation ball" (sort of a Nerf on a yo-yo) the BYM brought back from the Detroit Auto Show.
Giggle at dog's reaction to the same toy.
Giggle at the BYM, just because.
Study the silver hair that just appeared near the front of my head.
Get a full night's sleep.
Slog through workout.
Buy more fish and a couple of lamb chops.
Pick up complimentary Nashville Auto Show tickets.
Update the checkbook.
Address some more envelopes.
Post this entry.
Shower.
Reheat liver and couscous for lunch.
Letter more cards.
Improve the layout of the Henry VI piece I'm working on.
Take out the trash.
Sweep the stairs.
Refine some poems?
Write another card or two.
Read more of the Waskow, perhaps:

The flow of Divine abundance that makes the whole earth and the whole universe fruitful depends, [the Kabbalists of Safed] said, on human intentionality in blessing the fruits of the trees. In this way they, like the Zohar, put enormous energy and weight into the human act of eating.

Not merely eating, but eating with intention and with proper blessings. . .They quoted a line from the Talmud: "Whoever enjoys produce in this world without pronouncing a blessing is called a robber."

[Do I believe this? Not really - not as a direct cause-and-effect, at any rate. But do I like the story? Yes.]


Two years ago, I walked past a yard sale. . .

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