Monday, May 26, 2008

Due Diligence

Big weekend. Momentous even. The folks, or for all your Ash-kosh-kenazis, Mishpochah, came in and stayed at the sanctuary (our apartnemt).

This is big. First, they came in to see the Opera. Right, from the 513 to the 314, they drove, or braved, rather (due to the rising cost of crude), the several hundred mile distance to see the Opera. I was an afterthought. It makes a little more sense when coupled with the fact that Tales of Hoffman is different every time you see it because Offenbach, its writer/composer died before it was finished. They know this guy Michael Kaye (mentioned in the wiki) who did a bunch of research and put together what is considered the truest version, so he got them comps and they came in. Lets examine that tale for Jewish themes, shall we? 1. Opera 2. Networking 3. Free stuff.

Ok, now that you know why they came in, let's talk about why its a big deal. I hosted my parents. Let that sink in. That's roll reversal. They stayed at my apartment, we (Rosh) cooked them Shabbat dinner, showed them around the town, and took care of them.

Several interesting things occurred. First, the sanctuary almost didn't survive. Literally. Rosh was frying some french fried potato chips and they weren't getting crispy so my mom advises him to turn the heat up (if you can't stand the heat. . .). I turn around a minute later and my parents and Rosh transfixed by three foot flames leaping from the pan. The fire alarms start going off, which is good because I didn't know we had fire alarms, and they work. This is bad because they are painfully loud. While they are all staring at the flames and backing away, my dumb ass rushes towards them to try to smother it with something. Unfortunately all I can find is aluminum foil, and so my first attempt is unsuccessful. Then I grab the pan, with the intention of placing it upside down in the sink so that I can run cold water over the bottom (thereby not spreading the grease fire). The fire is so big that it singes by arm hair, and burns while I figure out that this isn't going to work and throw the pan back on the oven. Finally, I get exasperated, take my best Shofar blowing breath and blow on the flames. And it works?! The fire is out, and we spend the next 15 minutes getting the smoke out of the apartment.

The rest of the weekend is pretty mild compared to that. Showed my parents the Scholarship (you need to get down with this, second hand name brand clothes and the money goes to scholarships for lower income students towards college education).
We check out the Soulard Farmer's Market, where I prove my Israeli bargaining skills aren't wasted in this country.

Dinner was at 1111 Mississippi, and was fantastic. Tried a pineapple wine, which wasn't nearly as bad as I had convinced myself it would be.

Checked in with Shel at Casa del Kamen in the CWE and helped her get rid of some rum, then checked in with the core Yid crew for Mindy's celebration of the anniversary of her birth (or Birthday if you wanna be a jackass about it). Spent some money at Bar Italia, then shuffled over to Brennan's and tried a few interesting beers including a wheat based dopplebock, which was good but had quite a bite.

Sunday was a grad party which pitted our stomach against vienna all beefs. We ended up getting games of beer pong going with some ZBT vs AEPi action as I face my roommate in a battle to the last cup.
He won. My effort was less than valiant.

Caught a memorial day BBQ at Todd's with the (in)core(porated)group and had some fantastic shishlik/shipudim/kebabs. Got to do a lil swimming on the side as I tried to get to know the people that are going to shape the community.

The core kids basically those that have already committed themselves to the community here, they hold leadership positions, and most of them grew up here and have known each other forever. Its a welcoming group, but despite their incredible hospitality, its not impossible to feel like an outsider due to the close nature of the group.

So I guess the question is how do we expand this community, right? Do people just start meeting us out and about?

The week is already shaping up, which Funky Butt Brass Band playing at the Oyster Bar tomorrow, a possible stop at 33 on Wednesday, and my trip to Chi-town on Friday.

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