Safe Words

Some of the recent things going on in life recently (IVF/ART/fertility, funerals & loss) are pretty raw, so I’m going to wait for a bit for them to settle before going into to many details.

In the meantime, there are some less-weighty things of some note, which I’ll mention in FIFO order.

The Franchise’s show at the Treehouse Lounge was good, but not as well attended as we had hoped. We got a few decent recordings- once we pick which ones will go public I’ll share them here and elsewhere. I was particularly happy with “Footsteps”, which came out just right.

On Star Wars Day, I hosted a civilization game (this time with planked and baked salmon instead of cholent).

This was an interesting game: the player who was slotted to play Africa skipped, and so we had a hole, but then Toby joined there about four turns in. It was a very crowded board, with all of the experienced players in the North-central board. We didn’t get very far: we ended at havdalah, and one new player was very slow- that player tended to view the determinations of where to move tokens with the deliberation that one wishes our actual government would use in making decisions (oooh, I went there…)

The funniest moment was of course the small band of Italian farmers who kept trying to fight their way out of Egypt, during which time Egypt experienced a flood, famine, pestilence, and eventually Iconoclasm & Heresy. Of course it did.. The Egyptians had even expressed fear that the Italians would join with the Babylonians or Africans against them! I was waiting for the next calamity to be “death of the firstborn.” Amusingly, those Italian farmers survived until the end of the game, regardless of what Merneptah’s inscription said… (tl;dr – one of the many, many too-early obituaries of the Jewish people, from ~1200 BCE)

We didn’t get very far, but our finish did have something notable: Shoshana’s first victory! Yay, Shoshana!

Final scores:
Shoshana, Asia, 1689
Michael, Crete, 1651
Ron, Babylon, 1511
David, Thrace, 1398
Erin, Illyria, 1250
Alan, Italy, 1239
Rich, Egypt, 974
Toby, Africa, 924

Whee!

Then, after Sarah returned, we headed up to New Jersey for our RMA consult (more on that later), but decided to make a weekend of it. I finally encountered the vaunted Gotham wines, and I had expected to be underwhelmed. Um, NO. I haven’t seen a selection of kosher wine that good in one place, especially with a helpful guy who was suggesting the oodles of stuff for me to try (and what not to try, even more important).

Two which were remarkable so far were a 2007 Chateau Fourcas Dupre Bordeaux and a 2011 Recanati Reserve Petit Syrah / Zinfandel blend. Both were really outstanding, and quite worth it.

I did get to see the Jewish Center, which had two things I liked a great deal: the formal (top hat + vest) attire of the rabbi & gabbaim, and also an absolutely stunning sanctuary where the mehitza isn’t oppressive. Beautiful! I could have done with less talking, but I think that’s probably true almost everywhere.

Our weekend got cut short when we heard the news about the funeral, and logistics took over.

Since then, my mom visited during Shavuot (a lovely visit) and we’re just starting to begin to slow down the whirlwind. Or maybe we’ll have it spin up.

Advertisements

Gimme Some of the Good Stuff

First and foremost, The Franchise is coming back to the DC night life, with our comeback gig scheduled for May 2 @ 8PM at the newly-opening Treehouse Lounge over at 1006 Florida Ave NE. W00t!

We’ll be doing a half-and-half set – about half old favorites, and half stuff from our forthcoming album Movers and Shakers. (Aside: remember when “groups of songs you buy on iTunes” were called “albums”? I liked that name…). We’re still finalizing the set list now…

====

Our Sedarim were good, although our first one went from 9 people to 5 people abruptly (all due to illness, boo!), and so we ended up with brisket and chicken soup coming out of our ears. Now, it’s good brisket and chicken soup, so that’s not a bad thing, but it was too bad that we didn’t get to see Sarah’s sister, our nephew, and a pair of dear friends. C’est la vie

We did have a few treats – the awesome cookies made by Rella – clearly, she wants to see more of me! Also, we had some fabulous wine: a 2011 hagafen pinot noir was my personal favorite, although a 2009 Chateau le Bourdieu Bordeaux Medoc and a 2011 Tishbi Cabernet Sauvignon were close contenders. A disappointment was the Yogev Cab / Petit Verdot blend, but it suffered from being cups 3/4 – it’s extremely tannic, and so is an extremely bad fit for drinking quickly without complimenting really, really heavy beef (and those cups were *after* the meal).

A surprise hit this year was Sarah’s marmouna from Foods of Israel Today (excellent book – everything in it is good) – she made it with serrano peppers, and it was hot in a way that very little Jewish cuisine is, and it was fantastic.

========

After all of the sturm und drang, we didn’t end up making any quinoa so far this year. Go figure. I’ll have to make some for the last days, or I’ll feel silly.