Friday, April 27, 2012

On Literary Ambitions

"When I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. Not a writer. People can be killed like ants. Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf-life in some corner of an out-of-the-way library somewhere, in Reykjavik, Valladolid or Vancouver."
—Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Deep Thoughts: The Beginning of the End and the End of the Beginning

  • I took my last classes ever this week. Assuming I don't decide to go back to school and get a law degree after all. Or a second Ph.D. 
  • These must be the fanciest port-a-potties ever.
  • I mailed 290 pounds of books to Wisconsin this week. And I'm still not even close to done with packing my books—I just ran out of boxes. Also, if you ever want to send boxes that had been used for alcohol media mail, you need to cover up all the references to alcohol on the boxes. I sure wish I had known that before I brought 11 boxes to the post office.
  • Times we will travel cross-country this summer: 6. Family weddings, including our own and one sister each: 3. Things on my to-do list: a lot.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pesach Is Difficult

Things that are difficult to do:

  • Bike riding. Also, bike riding in a skirt. I haven't been bike riding in something like 12 years, so I forgot this. I now have bruises on my legs (which were the result of trying to pull down my skirt while in motion on a bike) and I remember.
  • Going a week without Diet Coke. It is by far the single thing I miss most this year on Pesach, with the maybe exception of Coffee Bean. Stupid California that changed its law so I cannot have my bubbly caffeine fix. This is made especially difficult by the fact that I know there is no actual Pesach problem with regular Diet Coke. (Sefardim can drink regular Diet Coke on Pesach; aspartame, a chemical which so far as I know cannot be used as flour, is apparently kitnoyot.)
  • Getting permission to serve alcohol at our wedding. This seems to be close to impossible. I have a form that says it needs to be filled out by the LAPD. Between Z and myself, we must have spoken to 10 police departments and city agencies yesterday, all of whom claimed they have no idea what we're talking about. I went to the Alcohol and Beverages Commission today, who said so long as we're not selling alcohol or selling tickets to our wedding, they don't care what we do. Then I went to the police department, where I dropped off the form. But I have zero confidence that this form will get to the appropriate people. Less than zero confidence.
  •  Stress baking on Pesach. Pesach cake mixes just don't do it. Mostly because you don't end up with anything remotely delicious when you're through. I may have decided to make a lemon tart last night at 2 a.m. Because I am insane. I am less than sure about the Pesach pie crust I made, but I get points for being resourceful. (I did not have a Pesach strainer and so I used a cheesecloth relative for the lemon curd.)