January 2010


On New Years Eve, the Boots and Slippers had a club square dance.  Jackie and Jonathan went without Marc and Benjamin, who have not learned enough to attend.  The Boots and Slippers served dinner in three shifts, which was a great way to reduce the number of people dancing at any given time to a manageable level.  The dance was fast and furious, a welcome change after weeks of dancing with the class.  Jackie and Jonathan enjoyed it tremendously.  As midnight approached, they passed out noisemakers, counted down the New Year, and did one dance in 2010 and that was the end.


On New Year's Day, we did not watch the Rose Parade for the first time in years.  The next day, Saturday, there was a class level square dance and we all went.  Kathleen, Jake, and Carolyn came too.  It was very crowded, but fun.  It was a "black light" dance, and they had black lights on the ceiling.  Several times during the evening they passed out white gloves, turn on the black lights, and turned off the lights.  The next day, we went to see "Mary Poppins" at the Ahmanson.  They did and nice job of retaining old favorites while incorporating new material.  After the show, we walked around a little bit and then everyone went back to Jackie's Mom's for dinner.  We ordered in Stonefire.


Two days later was the laser tag fundraiser for Robotics.  Jonathan and Benjamin both went and had a blast.  On Friday, Jackie helped set up and clean up the oneg at the Temple.  It was the Men’s Club Shabbat, and there was a cake.  Jackie brought home the leftover cake to bring to TLC Sharim the next night.


The next day started with the annual Boots and Slippers used clothing sale.  Jackie and Marc went.  Jackie found a dress, and Marc brought home a couple of shirts.  After lunch, Marc and Jonathan went to the kickoff for the FIRST robotics competition.  Jackie and Benjamin found the video online and watched it from home.  That night was TLC Sharim.  Jackie got there and realized she had forgotten the cake.  She set up and decided to go home and get it.  She told Rick, "I can get home and back in 16 minutes" and left.  As she walked out the door she looked at her watch and saw that it was 6:44 – she had exactly 16 minutes!  On the way home, she was kicking herself for going home because you can only get there and back in 16 minutes if you hit every light.  But she hit every light and did indeed get back in time. TLC Sharim was wonderful, as always.


Sunday, religious school resumed for Benjamin.  On Monday he went back to middle school, and on Tuesday, Jonathan went back to school.  The following Saturday was Jacky's wedding.  It was at the Greek Orthodox Church on Balboa.  The service was interesting.  The pastor referred to the bride and groom as "his servant Petros and his handmaiden Jacky" dozens of times.  At one point, Jacky and Pep walked in a circle a couple of times – it was reminiscent of how in a traditional Jewish wedding the bride circles the groom seven times.  The reception was fun – lots of Greek dancing.  Jackie tried one of them.  We sat between the owners of the Shalom House and a couple who started an orphanage in Haiti.  They were both very interesting.  The owner of the Shalom House had been on Hebrew High Ulpan the year before Jackie went.  The orphanage guy had been born in Germany and had traveled the world extensively.  All of his staff and kids in Haiti were OK, but they were living in tents in the field because the buildings were not safe.  The Shalom House guy spilled his wine (white wine) all over both of us.


The next day we went to see Twelfth Night at CTG.  We had invited the Schuraytzes to join us, but Deb had a wedding, and Chana Leah had a theater group for which she wanted to addition, so, as it turned out, only Sarah Bracha and Racheli joined us.  So we offered the other two tickets to Abby and Kevin Segal.  Abby was delighted to accept - coincidentally, she had recently read Twelfth Night.  We had lunch before the performance with the David's and Kevin and Abby at Eggplantation.  We parked at the theater and walked over to the restaurant.  We had reservations at the restaurant for seating outside, which Jackie was concerned about because it was cold and blustery, but Eggplantation has heaters and good protection from the wind and it wasn't a problem.  Of course, after about an hour it started to rain, but not hard, so that wasn't really a problem either, especially for Jackie, who was under the overhang!  However, we had to walk back to the theater.  But the David's had driven to the restaurant, so they passed out umbrellas to anyone who wanted one, which was pretty much just Jackie!  Twelfth Night was fun.  Our group of 11 was about half the audience, which was somewhat of a bummer.  So we tried to be really enthusiastic to make up for it.  After the play we went to Jackie's mom's house for dinner.


The next day was Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The kids were off school, but Jackie had to work.  The Senior Center (where square dancing class is on Monday nights) was dark, so the Square Dancing club went to Hometown buffet and danced there.  The club does this every year on holidays.  They eat at the restaurant, and then move the tables and chairs off to the side and set up a microphone and speakers and the caller calls dances in the restaurant.  It is unique, and would be lots of fun if we weren't dancing on carpeting.  It had rained a lot that day so that kept the turnout down to 8 squares (thankfully!) about half of what usually shows up to the Senior Center.


On Wednesday, Jackie had a presentation at work – the first presentation in many, many years.  It went well and she thinks she said everything she meant to say.  She got a lot of compliments on the presentation.


On Friday (1/22,)  Jackie flew to Detroit for cousin Ben’s Bar Mitzvah.  She left at 6 a.m. to catch the Flyaway for an 8:50 flight.  She caught the 6:30 Flyaway and got to LAX a little after seven, thanks to the carpool lane and the lack of rain.  So she could have left half an hour later, but oh well!  She got to security and sent her bags and shoes through x-ray.  The security person saw something that concerned her.  She reached into Jackie’s bag and pulled out… yogurt that Jackie had brought to eat for breakfast.  "You can't take this past this point ma'am!"  "Well, can I *eat* it?" “Yes – leave your bags here and go eat it.”  So she ate the yogurt and then they were happy.  Her flight was uneventful, and they had a good tailwind, so they actually arrived in Detroit half an hour early.  Cousin Sandy met her at the airport, and they went back to Sandy's house.  They hung out for awhile and chatted, and then Sandy, Gary, and Jackie went out to dinner.  They went to an Irish restaurant and Jackie had corned beef and cabbage.  It was excellent, but the presentation felt French, not Irish.  But regardless of authenticity, the food was delicious.  After dinner, they went to Aunt Renee's house and met up with Aunt Renee, Aunt Marjorie, Uncle Milt, and Jackie's mom, who it gone out to dinner with cousin Bebe.  The next morning, they left at 9am for Ann Arbor.  Ben did very well at reading his three aliyot, better than the other Bar Mitzvah, who stumbled a couple of times.  Ben’s speech was on the virtues of "living for the moment."  The party was in the evening, so after the Bar Mitzvah we hung out at to David and Susan’s house.  Jackie had brought the Atara for Benjamin’s tallis to Detroit to work on, and was working on at David and Susan’s house.  She was amused when two other people took out needlework projects and joined her!  The party was a lot of fun and the food was delicious.  There was a montage and a candle lighting ceremony, during which Jackie was called up to light a candle.  On Sunday, we just hung out, went out to lunch, and then Jackie and her Mom, were dropped off at the airport to fly home. 


The following Thursday (1/28,)  Benjamin had a field trip to the Japanese American National Museum and Jackie went with as a chaperone.  They saw a drumming demonstration, learned some origami, and saw the exhibit on Manzanar (the Japanese concentration camp during World War II.)  Then we ate lunch, and rode the bus home.  It was very nicely done. 


Saturday (1/30,) was Weston's Bar Mitzvah in San Diego.  It was great to see Marc and Nancy Picus, and Daniel, who had flown in from Wisconsin.  The bar mitzvah was at Temple Adat Shalom, which we found disconcerting because everything was TAS this and TAS that, just like at our Temple.  The party was fun, but we left before the very end, because there was an art exhibition of Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik's artwork at the Irvine JCC (which was an hour drive north of the Bar Mitzvah.)  Isaac is our Rabbi Shawna's husband.) We arrived at the JCC 10  minutes before closing, and they didn't want to let us in, but when we promised to leave at closing, they did.  We enjoyed his artwork very much, and Marc decided to commission a piece in honor of Blanches 75th birthday.  We left the JCC, and met with Jackie's friend Kathleen and her boyfriend Marc for dinner.


The next day (1/31) was the baby shower for Craig and Jen.  Jackie brought quilt squares and got everyone to decorate quilt squares at the baby shower.