Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 29: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?

Because on this night, I had a Passover seder up in the OC and still have to get a blog posted in the next hour.

Just returned from said seder at my parents' place, and it was a really great time. David took the day off and we started it with a massive spring cleaning of our kitchen to expunge any crumbs. It's a real part of the holiday--look it up. Only you're supposed to conduct the search with, like, a candle and a feather and some other occult-sounding stuff, so there's the strange part. We didn't do that. The place looks sparkling, though.

After a fairly uneventful drive (me at the wheel, David helping me learn my lines) we decided on a final Mexican feast, and oh, I'm sure I'll be dreaming about it for the next eight days. Then on to the childhood home, where my sister and I helped fold napkins, argued amicably about silverware placement, and generally hung out for an hour or so while Jarrah cavorted with her Pop-Pop. How she loves doing that.

Then we headed down to Balboa for a sunshiney, harbor-side stroll, because we figured that would totally suck. And it was just as bad as I anticipated--bright blue water, million-dollar cottages with spring gardens bursting out all over, 74 degrees and clear, sunny skies...I sipped my vanilla latte, listened to my dad's stories for the 574th time, and hated every minute.

Conversation in the car:

Jarrah: You've broken a bone. Which one?

Dad: My pinky.

Jarrah: No! Something else. Something bigger.

Dad: My elbow? Look, it's all bent. Hey, why do you think it's called a pinky, and not a bluey, or a reddie?

Jarrah: Are you in pain?

Dad: No.

Jarrah: But pretend you are, in a lot of pain.

Dad: OWWWWW! GAAAAAH! It's killing meeeeeee!

Jarrah: There. I took an x-ray. Don't move it until tomorrow. It's tomorrow. You can move it!

Dad: Wow, it's all better!

Jarrah: But something else is broken now.

Conversation on a bench along Marine Ave. (in progress when I returned with my vanilla latte):

Dad: Yeah, Tammany Hall, yada yada yada!

Old Guy In Baseball Cap: Yeah, ha, Tammany Hall, yada yada yada!

Dad: Nice talking to you.

OGIBC: Say, if you're ever and some old guys hang out on a bench about two blocks down from here. You could join us.

Dad: Thanks! If I'm ever old, I will.

And then I cracked up. And punched him. I knew I got it from somewhere.

The seder was lovely. Jarrah helped out a lot this year, singing some songs for us, and filling in explanations of the items on the seder plate. We had two guests--my mom's friend and her dad, visiting from the east coast. There was matzah ball soup, salad (but with chunky white cheese, so I couldn't eat it) turkey and cranberry sauce, apple kugel, potatoes and quinoa casserole, which apparently is not really a grain so it's allowed. Brownies and lemon sponge cake for dessert, made with matzah flour, of course! One thing that cracked me up is how much we end up talking about death. It was like:

"Have I told you about this woman I know from the gym? She got married, and now she's dying. Nothing is helping." "How awful! My friend's mother just died. Giant thing coming out of her head. No diagnosis. Then, suddenly, DEAD." "Did I tell you what I read in the paper last week? So horrible. People, tons of them, dead." "Here's some more wine--let's drink to the celebration of spring! Woohoo!"

I kept trying to figure out if this is a Jewish thing or a Goldstein thing. Or a little of both. In any case, it was nice to be together, alive for the present moment, and celebrating.


Stephanie said...

Alive and celebrating is a very good thing.

miss. chief said...

hahaha "if I'm ever old..." That's hilarious!

Paul and Heather said...

its a good thing :-) I love your Dad's line about if he's ever old! Too funny!
Happy Passover!

Anonymous said...

I think it's an old people thing - my grandma used to be the same and was neither Jewish nor a Goldstein!

The Wades said...

Your dad is awesome! I could have never come up with that so quick. (if ever!)

So how good is this food? Sounds pretty delish. I might have to make some one day. Anything I MUST try? Why am I so uncultured???

Death stories--hilarious! I felt like I was watching a scene in a movie reading your recap.

Sam said...

@Steph: Amen!

@miss.chief: I know! And then the guy said "Can I ask how old you are?" And my dad said "71 and a half." And the guy said "We start about 75." And my dad said "Well, I've got a few years, then." hee.

@P and H: Thanks! :)

@Anon: Oh, that is a bit scary then...

@Michelle: You MUST try kugel of some kind. Noodle kugel, apple kugel, potato kugel, whatever kind. It's yummy.

Anonymous said...

Sam, why you no eat white cheese?


Anonymous said...

OMG, what was that thing coming out of the woman's head? I was picturing it like the little alien in Alien! Lix