gnomi: (Default)
Busy weekend:

-- Made pizza for Shabbat dinner (well, pre-Shabbat dinner, since the girlies go to bed right after candle lighting this time of year).

-- Made chicken salad (recipe made up totally on the fly) for Shabbat lunch.

-- Made yummy, yummy potato salad to go with the aforementioned chicken salad.

-- Hosted new community member named Josh for lunch. Squeaker was heard to say later "I like new Josh!"

-- Lunch went long and segued into afternoon gathering with [profile] aunt_becca and her family. Her B and Muffin and Squeaker had a fun playdate in our living room since it was too hot to go out to the park.

-- Early-Sunday-morning wakeup by small girlies led to sleepiness for whole family but did not cancel...

-- Sunday morning playdate in the park with H, son of [personal profile] vettecat and [profile] sdavido.

-- Trip to Public Library of Brookline to take advantage of summer Sunday hours. Spent two hours in the library.

-- Stop for ice cream at JP Licks, at which we ran into a friend.

-- Extremely tired girls went to bed relatively smoothly. ***Note the ironic foreshadowing.

-- Finally gave in and joined Facebook.

-- Watched the season premiere of Leverage.

-- Neglected to either write or knit while watching TV.

-- Sleep interrupted by small girls. Awake 3:30-5:45 or so.

-- Saw sun rise for first time since Squeaker figured out sleeping through the night.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In today's Brookline Parent column, [personal profile] mabfan discusses how we try to give Muffin and Squeaker opportunities to socialize through playmates. Click to read Occupy Playdates.
gnomi: (Default)
This afternoon, as I was heading to a meeting, I happened to strike up a conversation with a coworker. Through a series of bizarre conversational connections, I discovered that he knows [ profile] lensman along with [ profile] beckyfeld's friends E. and JP. [profile] beckyfeld's name sounded familiar to him, but he couldn't remember if they knew each other.

I am always surprised when this happens, though it happens often enough that I often think I should stop being surprised.
gnomi: (peace_bears (lanning))
...I am linking to [profile] popfiend's post. Please go read if you have been following him recently.
gnomi: (Default)
There has been a lot of talk recently about the fact that people are not using the US Postal Service nearly as much as they did before e-mail. The Post Office is losing money and is considering drastic cost-saving options, including cutting out Saturday delivery. But I have to give credit where it is due, and last week I received mail that proves that the employees of the Post Office are very good at their jobs.

This is the front of the lovely post card I received:

Postcard Front Postcard Front

But it's the back of the postcard that made this so interesting. It took me a while to notice, but the card arrived at our address even though it lacked postage or a return address. Of course, the lack of return address could be *why* it arrived at our address -- without a return address, the Postal Service had no idea what to do with the postcard other than sending it along to us.

Postcard Back Postcard Back

(I have a guess as to who sent it, and I'm about 99% confident in it, but thank you to the sender of the postcard, whoever you are.)
gnomi: (Default)

  • My phone's Home button ceased working on Friday afternoon. This does not make me happy.
  • Quiet Friday night, with girls going down to bed and then [personal profile] mabfan and I following suit not long thereafter.
  • Saturday morning at Minyan Kol Rinah.
  • Haftarah went smoothly. Note: the question, "Did you learn the right haftarah" should be asked earlier than while the Torah is being walked around the room before the Torah reading starts (I had); telling me that we're running late and therefore I should read quickly will *not* be appreciated when it's a long haftarah with complicated words and cantillation in parts.
  • Lunch for 14 (9 adults and 5 kids) became lunch for 15 with the last-minute invitation extended during kiddush to friend who was at the minyan.
  • Despite extra folks coming to eat, I still have tons of leftovers, again demonstrating that I default "cook for more than just the family" to "cook for a large army."
  • Weathered the odd weather fine. [profile] lcmlc and Abba lost power right before they did Havdalah and still don't have power (they're staying with a friend with power in the interim). Rain didn't start until right as we were starting lunch, and though our guests walked home in the rain, it still wasn't too disgusting.
  • Muffin and Squeaker woke us (well, Squeaker, followed by her waking Muffin) at 5:20 AM on Sunday morning. So we went into Sunday sleepy.
  • Spent part of Sunday at our shul's annual yard sale. Girlies came home with new stuffed friends.
  • [personal profile] mabfan ill in the evening after girls went to sleep.
  • I did some laundry Sunday night; clean socks are a Very Good Thing.
  • Nose decided life wasn't interesting enough and stuffed itself up. Throat colluded with nose, and now I am drinking many cups of warm drink.
gnomi: (Default)
-- This morning, when [personal profile] mabfan and I headed out to work (the first time I'd been out in daylight since Saturday afternoon), we saw a large tree in front of one of our across-the-street neighbors had been felled quite impressively by the storm. It didn't look like there was any damage to the house itself, which is good.

-- We have the best friends. During our power outage yesterday, friends who had power offered us the use of their home if we needed to decamp due to an extended power outage. Later (before the power was back), they brought us a pizza for dinner, since they live closer to the kosher pizza source and were able to get to us (we have no car and the T was offline all day, so we were stranded even after the storm had abated).

-- To their credit, the T was up and running this morning and the commute was straightforward. Those on the Green Line D were more out of luck, but that's not atypical due to the abundance of trees lining the D line tracks.

-- This morning, coworkers were greeting each other with queries of how they had weathered the storm. Some are still without power, but mostly folks seem to have come through the storm pretty well.

-- After a brief walk to the post office, I'm pondering a "historical plaques" photo essay based just on what I find walking within a couple blocks of my office.

-- Years ago, [personal profile] osewalrus shared his chemistry-based explanation of the kosher laws, using "milchigons," "fleishigons," and "treifons." Today I learned about something that fits perfectly into the schema: lardons. (Yeah, most people probably already knew about this; I'm kosher-from-birth, so what do I know from pig fat?)
gnomi: (penguin_chevruta (rjcardinal))
-- Today we have snow. Again. Numbers I'm seeing right now indicate that we got somewhere around another 9 or so inches. Which is not such a large snowfall for our area, in general. Problem is, there's nowhere to *put* the snow when you clear it off roads/sidewalks/stairs/driveways due to the lingering snow from the last storm (and the storm before that... the storm before *that* melted when we had a couple of days in the low 40s).

-- We continued the flow of objects in the Great Clothing (and Stuff) Continuum by passing along a baby swing that has been, for Muffin and Squeaker, just an oddity in the living room/play room for about eight months. I have mixed feelings when we do this -- I feel good, knowing that I am letting another family get the enjoyment of the use of the item, but at the same time I feel nostalgic about when our girls used it.

-- Last night, thanks to the kindness of a friend willing to babysit, [ profile] mabfan and I met Mike Brown, the discoverer of Eris (and killer of Pluto). [ profile] mabfan has a write-up of our evening.

-- Earlier this week, when the low temperature in Boston was -2F, I knit myself a hat, because I decided it was silly that I had made warm hats for a number of people but did not have a good warm hat for myself. Now I am knitting another octopus, this one for the almost-six-month-old upstairs.

-- Still questing for good winter boots to replace my eight-year-old ones (the zippers have been through too much salt and sand and don't reliably zip any more). My requirements are relatively simple: waterproof, warm, not too expensive. I bought a pair that I was assured were waterproof, and they leaked like a sieve the first time I wore them in last week's wet-mush storm ("wet mush" in this case, was a combination of rain and show and slush that made crazy puddles all over Brookline).

-- I woke up this morning at about 3:20 to discover I was wearing my glasses. The bizarre thing about this is that I have a distinct memory of putting my glasses away and rolling onto my side to fall asleep, and that on-my-side position is not comfortable when I am still wearing my glasses. So sometime between when I fell asleep and 3:20, I must have woken up, opened my glasses case, put on my glasses, and gone back to sleep.
gnomi: (Default)
-- Why don't people sign e-mail anymore? I hate having to go back to the top of a long e-mail to see the From: line just to see who sent the mail (this is especially a problem on mailing lists).

-- When did the trend of blends/portmanteau names start in fanfic? And is there an algorithm that determines whether or not fandoms use them? I remember Spuffy and Spander fic (so clearly Buffy fandom used portmanteau names), and a tiny part of my memory says there was Sculder fic, but I was in neither Buffy fandom nor X-Files fandom. I was active in West Wing fandom for a while, and I don't remember people using portmanteau names (how would one blend Donna and Josh, anyway? Dosh? Jonna?).

-- Speaking of portmanteau words, I am against "refudiated" but for "ginormous."

-- Muffin and Squeaker's birthday party yesterday was a lot of fun. There may be photos to follow of girls with chocolate cake all over their faces. Muffin loved both the chocolate cake and the ice cream cake. Squeaker, with her more choosy palate, was very fond of the chocolate cake but did not enjoy the ice cream. She, however, is not overly fond of cold food, so perhaps that was the main problem.

-- A truth about babies: just when you think you've done all their laundry, they have generated more laundry.

-- We're continuing the "Get Squeaker to Sleep in Her Crib" project. For the past couple of nights, she has slept in a pack-and-play (borrowed from [personal profile] lucretia_borgia) in our room, and she did pretty well (last night she spent the whole night in the pack-n-play for the first time), and today she took her first nap there as well (instead of sleeping in the bouncy chair in the living room, for which she is getting way too big). This will, hopefully, bode well for the future of getting her actually out of our room and into her own overnight.
gnomi: (Default)
-- I found myself explaining "The Corbomite Maneuver" to [profile] lcmlc on Sunday after I said to Squeaker, "Why are you making Balok face?" while on the phone with [profile] lcmlc. For some reason, this amused [personal profile] mabfan.

-- Instead of calling the Alterna-LOST-'verse "Sideways," I started calling it the "Fanservice 'verse" while watching the finale.

-- This is a crazy-busy week at Chez Burstein: Sunday we had a thing at the shul in the evening; last night we had [profile] donovanstitch over for dinner as he is in town for a conference; tonight through Thursday night [personal profile] mabfan has Town Meeting (if anyone wants to hang out at our place with Muffin, Squeaker, and me, we'll be available); Friday night and Saturday we have a friend and her two-year-old daughter staying with us for Shabbat (she's in town for Harvard graduation); Sunday and Monday we have various tentative plans.

-- Thanks to various friends, we have a bunch of warm-weather clothing for Ms. Muffin and Ms. Squeaker. This is a Very Good Thing, as it went from grey-and-50s to sunny-and-80s in the span of about three days.

-- Somehow this Shavuot passed without a single blintz being consumed by either [personal profile] mabfan or me. I will have to rectify this blintzless state at some juncture.
gnomi: (Default)
The last week or so has been more than a little crazy:See what I mean? )
gnomi: (yeshiva_stewart)
This past Shabbat, I did something I haven't done in 22 years: I had the Maftir aliyah and read haftarah in front of a minyan.

On three and a half days' notice

And people said I did it very well. :-)

Let me explain...No, is too long. Let me sum up )

Thank You!

Dec. 7th, 2009 01:36 pm
gnomi: (Default)
In the past couple of days, a bunch of folks have randomly sent me virtual gifts. This has been lovely and surprising, and I thank you very much for thinking of me.

I'm sorry I've been among the missing online; my time is very crunched these days (in the evenings, I rarely get online after work due to baby juggling), and I miss all of you very much.
gnomi: (Default)
On Friday night, I had a bizarre dream. [personal profile] mabfan and I were at a party at [personal profile] scarlettina's house. But it was very clearly a house in Boston. And during the party, I wandered off to refresh the snack supply (as I tend to do at parties; it is not unusual for me to help in the kitchen at parties I am not organizing). I found the bowl of popcorn and was carrying it back to the party, but I made a wrong turn and ended up in some dark room. I stumbled on something and spilled the popcorn, so I kneeled down to pick up the popcorn. Suddenly, a voice came from out of the darkness. "You can't be here!"

"Why not?" I asked. "I was invited to the party!"

"We're using this room," the voice said. And then the lights in the room came on, revealing a television studio for a Phil Donahue-style talk show.

So here's my question: [personal profile] scarlettina, when did you get a house in Boston with a built-in television studio, and who hosts the show?

Brains are *weird* sometimes.
gnomi: (Default)
-- I'm done with my leave and am now back at work, so expect to see me online at least slightly more often.

-- How is it that Muffin and Squeaker are almost nine weeks old? They're gaining head control and other good things on a daily basis, and they're beginning to notice the other baby in the co-sleeper/pack-and-play.

-- Ridiculous things I've said to my children: "[Muffin/Squeaker], are you crying because you're sad or are you crying because the baby is crying?" "[Muffin/Squeaker], shhh! You'll wake the baby!" "All baby service representatives are currently assisting other babies. Your call is important to us; please be patient and the next available baby service representative will be with you as soon as possible. This call may be monitored for quality assurance."

-- How did it get to be the week before Rosh Hashannah? This happens to me every year, and I never understand how.

-- A question to ponder: what earthly purpose do pockets have on a 0-3 month size onesie? What's she going to carry, her keys and mobile phone? She can't even support her own head yet.

-- People bringing us food was wonderful, but at the same time there is something very nice about getting back to doing my own menu planning and cooking.

-- I missed my coworkers. I did not miss the commute. Thank goodness for understanding management and coworkers who are willing to give me rides.

-- Our home office is at the back of our apartment, and I'm discovering that our portable phone doesn't have the greatest reception back there (the base station is at the front of the apartment in our bedroom, and it's only recently that I'm using the back office regularly, so it hasn't previously been an issue). On the downside, it means that the home line isn't the best to reach me on when I'm working back there. On the upside, though, it means that we won't be as likely to have that phone ringing in the room next door to the kids' room.

-- I've missed everyone while I was in hibernation. I hope all is well by all of you.
gnomi: (Default)
This weekend, I was out on Martha's Vineyard with [personal profile] mabfan and a bunch of friends. We had a wonderful time, but I didn't any computer access after around 5 PM on Friday. I will not be able to catch up. Please let me know if there's anything important that I missed.
gnomi: (Default)
[personal profile] mabfan and I have arranged for a friend, Carsten Turner, who is a certified instructor, to teach us CPR and First Aid at our place. He's willing to open up his class to any of our friends in the area that want or need certification.

Carsten will be teaching layperson CPR for adult, child, and infant, including choke-saving (what was previously known as the Heimlich maneuver) and the use of AED, along with First Aid. If we can get a few more people to take the class, it'll only cost $50 per person for the CPR part, and $80 total for those who also stay for First Aid. In addition to getting a wallet card showing certification, you'll also get a book with a CD. Also, if anyone wants to purchase a pocket face mask, Carsten has wallet-size ones for $10 and a larger one that's $15.

We're planning to hold the class on Sunday, June 28 at our place. If you're interested in signing up, reply here or send me e-mail.
gnomi: (yeshiva_stewart)
We have weekend guests ([personal profile] sdelmonte and [personal profile] batyatoon), which is lovely. I am very much looking forward to seeing them. In fact, they are on approach right this minute (she says, looking out the window).

I will be offline for most of the weekend; I will catch up when the weekend is over.

Be good; don't burn down the Internet while I'm gone.
gnomi: (Default)
So, our power came back sometime around 11 PM on Saturday night (at which point the big thunderstorm that had knocked it out originally was over), and we ran around resetting clocks and stuff and then eventually went to sleep.

On Sunday, we took things relatively easy, doing some things around the apartment and some shopping but otherwise keeping things low-key. We watched "War Games" with some friends (one who had never seen the movie and the other who hadn't seen it in years), and when it was over I wanted to watch its thematic sibling (as I see it), "Sneakers," and so we did. Much fun was had.

I called [profile] lcmlc in the afternoon to wish her a happy Mothers Day, as she and Abba are down in MD with [profile] beckyfeld and [personal profile] osewalrus.

And now I'm back in the office. Happy Monday, all.
gnomi: (Default)
Tonight [personal profile] mabfan and I hosted [profile] madknits and [profile] eireangus for dinner. Usually when [profile] eireangus is in town, we go out to a local kosher restaurant, but since it's Pesach, none of the kosher restaurants are open. So I made dinner for the four of us, instead.

Since [profile] madknits is a vegetarian and [personal profile] mabfan and I tend to eat more dairy than meat at home, the challenge was to find a kosher for Pesach meal that was dairy. So (cribbing from a family recipe), I made matzah lasagna:recipe back here )

I made it with regular matzah, but any type of matzah (whole wheat, oat, spelt, whatever) should work.

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