September 1st, 2008

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)


The weekend.

We started by missing the dinner and the services Friday night. My fault. It was the end of the first half of my nephew's Bar Mitzvah (for those of you not in the know about Jewish customs, a 13-year-old person is called to perform feats of memory and song, chanting from various parts of the Bible. They may or may not do even more than that. Typically, these activities were performed either on Friday night, or Saturday morning). Apparently, he started out by reading the Torah portion on Thursday morning, as well as running the Thursday morning, and Friday night services. We missed those portions. *Sigh*. We did arrive at my mother's home in the San Fernando Valley after midnight; my aunt and uncle were there, and didn't awaken, though my mother did.

Saturday morning, we were at services on time, and Todd, my nephew, ran it all. He did a fine job. My mother and I chanted the prayer for a Torah portion, which my sister the artist then recited in Hebrew. We followed that with a post-service meal, where I discovered, to my delight, that some of our Minnesota relatives, and some of our British relatives, were in attendance. I had a lovely time chatting, and we then carried over to my mother's home, where some of them joined us. We then pulled out the DVDs of the old Super8 films, and our relatives had a very good time seeing the images of those departed (may they be blessed), as well as younger versions of themselves.

The evening was spent at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas, CA, for the party. It was held outdoors, and I wasn't dressed appropriately, as I hadn't read the invitation. Everyone else was very casual. That aside, it was a lovely party, and my nephew and his many friends, danced and played until late at night.

Sunday, we packed up, and then went to brunch at my sister's home, hosted by members of her in-laws. At this point, we gifted Todd with the wonderful quilt that forestcats made him, with great love, skill and meaning. For pictures of same, I suggest you look at her blog; it's outstanding. Todd was smitten with the item, rushing straight into his room to spread it atop his bed; he then proceeded to show it off, and brag about it to all who wandered through the back of the house. Delightful!

The day finished off with a party in West Hills in honor of the upcoming run of Dungeonmaster at the home of one of the cast. We brought some food, drinks, ice, and paper goods, and we hung out with folks and chatted. A former member of the cast set up as DJ, and he had Karaoke capability, and several folks performed. I played a little pingpong with forestcats and axelicious, as well. However, fatigue from the weekend's travels overtook me, and we returned home, to the joy of brushette and corveys, not to mention the cats.
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Thus far, over the weekend, I finished two books.

The first, The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, actually won this year's Hugo award, as it was an alternate history novel. I found it interesting, in that the Jews that survived the Holocaust, had been driven out of Palestine, and had ended up in their own refugee zone in Alaska. This seemed to me to be a curious turnabout, in comparison to what actually has happened. The book deals with a murder investigation in a place of much upheaval, as the US prepares to close the refugee zone, putting the Jews of the region to flight. Might be worth a look-see, if you like alternate history works.

The other book was Sandra Tsing Loh's Aliens in America, which I may have read previously and not recalled. It's a series of short stories about her family: a Shanghai Chinese father, a German mother survivor of WWII from Danzig, and her elder sister. There's some humor and a little pathos here, and it's a rather short read.