batyatoon: (cool stuff weird things)
[Edited to add: yes, this is last year's letter, but it's pretty much still valid.]

Dear [community profile] purimgifts author:

Cut to spare my friendslist )
batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
Tonight is the first night of Sukkot. Zman simchateinu; the time of our rejoicing.

I will be off the internet between now and Saturday night. Chag sameach to all those celebrating; happy everydays to everybody else.

Take care, all. <3
batyatoon: (Default)
Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish New Year, first of the autumn holidays. As usual, in mundane terms, this means don't expect to see me online between now(ish) and Saturday night.

In spiritual terms: the year has come to a close, and as always, the next ten days will be our annual performance review.

It's been a rough year in a lot of ways, for a lot of people that I love, and for a lot of people that I will never meet.

Let the year and its curses conclude, we say, and let the year and its blessings begin.

Amen, amen, amen.

a mazel tov

Aug. 6th, 2013 10:33 pm
batyatoon: (family)
The newest addition to my extended family was born this evening to my sister in Rochester! I am informed that mother and baby boy are both in good health and good spirits, although both are doubtless exhausted.

In accordance with Jewish tradition, my new nephewlet does not yet have a name; he will get one in eight days' time at his bris.

Welcome to the world, tiny new human!
batyatoon: (foodie)
So this year I adapted/invented two new recipes for Pesach, and was asked to share them by two of our guests. Since I've already written them up, I figured I might as well share them here too!

Celery-Leek Soup

I decided I wanted to make a soup using ingredients that are used as ritual items in the Seder. Both fresh parsley and raw celery are frequently used for karpas, and leeks are (rather less commonly) used for maror. I found a recipe here, and adapted it as follows... )

Honey-'Mustard' Chicken with Onions and Chestnuts

If you aren't sure why 'mustard' is in scarequotes there, take a look here. I would say more about this, but then we'd be talking about that all day instead of getting to the recipe... )

Enjoy!
batyatoon: (star of stone)
Tonight is the first night of Pesach. Zman cherutenu; the time of our liberation.

This year Alex and I will be hosting a Seder at our own house for the first time ever. Wish us luck. :) Right now I'm in the homestretch on cookery -- everything is either finished or in progress except for the main dish, with about three hours left to go. (The menu, in case anyone is curious: celery-leek soup, chicken with onion sauce, baked sweet potatoes, potato kugel, steamed broccoli, and fruit pies for dessert. WHEE.)

I will be offline between now and Wednesday night, and again next week between Sunday evening and Tuesday night.

Chag sameach to all those celebrating the holiday with us. Everybody else, have yourselves an excellent mid-week.

Be well, everybody. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (star of stone)
Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish New Year, first of the autumn holidays.

As usual, in mundane terms, this means don't expect to see me online between now (well, about half an hour from now) and Tuesday night.

In spiritual terms: the year has come to a close, and as always, the next ten days will be our annual performance review.

It's been a rough year, in a lot of ways, for me and for a lot of the people that I love.

Let the year and its curses conclude, we say, and let the year and its blessings begin.

Amen, amen, amen.
batyatoon: (music: dandelion conspiracy)
So hey, we're going to Concertino at the end of the month! (First con in over a year omg. SO EXCITED.)

And [personal profile] sdelmonte has posted here and here asking whether anybody wants to make plans with us for Shabbos meals. Sound off, folks!
batyatoon: (jerusalem cat)
Greetings to all from the land of milk and honey and jetlag! We are safely arrived as of last night and are ensconced in my brother's apartment in Ramat Beit Shemesh; I have been climbed on by various adorable nieces and had philosophical discussions with nephew who is getting too old to be called adorable (at least to his face) and I have slept, although not enough; noisy birds woke me up at about five-thirty AM local time.

Anyway -- I may be sporadically around internet-wise for the next week and a half, but don't expect to see me between tonight and Monday night; I will be offline celebrating the holiday of Shavuot.

wheeeeeeeeeee israeeeeeeeel :D :D :D
batyatoon: (jerusalem cat)
So as some of you already know, [personal profile] sdelmonte and I are leaving this coming Wednesday night on a trip to Israel to visit my brother and his family there. Our trip will overlap both the holiday of Shavuot and my mother's first yahrtzeit. We will be returning sometime on Sunday, June 3. I don't know what our internet situation will be like while we are away; odds are good I will be able to at least access my email periodically, but don't expect to see too much of me during that time.

Be good while I'm gone, peoples. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (star of stone)
Hi, folks. I'm currently in scenic Rochester, NY, at the home of a neighbor of my sister's, who graciously offered us the use of their guest room while they are out of town. I am taking advantage of sporadic wifi to post this and let y'all know not to expect to see me online between tonight and (possibly) Saturday night or (more likely) Sunday afternoon.

Chag sameach to my coreligionists, happy weekend to everybody else, and see you when I see you.

<3
batyatoon: (star of stone)
Tonight is the first night of Pesach. Zman cherutenu; the time of our liberation.

I will be offline between now and Sunday night, and again at the end of next week.

Chag sameach to all those celebrating the holiday with us; Happy Easter to those of you celebrating that this Sunday; happy weekend to everybody else.

Be well, everybody. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (bookhenge)
Yes, it's that time of the year again, and the purimgifts fic exchange has come and gone.

First of all: somehow I neglected to post last year's tally, so I'm doing that now! In 2011 I received a Doctor Who series of fics and a lovely SPN extra, and wrote a three-part Doctor Who story called "Ten to One".

This year, I received a two-part Hunger Games fic called Tear Everything Down (And Rebuild), and a Firefly standalone called The Memories She Carries, by the delightful Thistlerose. I wrote a Homestuck two-parter called > Redglare: S33K TH3 HUNTR3SS, a Homestuck standalone called TOD4Y 1 4M 4 S3LF-SUPPLY1NG 1NK1NG D3V1C3, and a Hunger Games extra called Nistar.

Many many thanks to [personal profile] gao and [personal profile] phoenixchilde for reading early drafts and for being great sounding boards! I would like to credit you both on AO3; do you have usernames there I can reference?

(Also at some point I really need to post some recs. There was so much awesome this year, you guys, I can't even.)
batyatoon: (cookie mobster)
Tomorrow or the day after, I am hoping to make these and/or these for Purim.

To that end, tonight I have attempted to make sugar-free raspberry jam. The last two times I made it, it crystallized when it cooled. I'm hoping to prevent that this time by means of using xanthan gum. I have no idea at all if this will work, but right now my kitchen smells like cooking fruit, and that is in itself rather happy-making. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile: a meme from a while back! [personal profile] ladysingsthe asked me seven questions. Answers behind the cut. )

Anyone feel like doing the Seven Questions meme? Comment here with "PICK ME" or some recognizable variant thereof, and I will ask you some! Probably.
batyatoon: (let there be light)
Tonight begins Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, the first of the autumn High Holidays.

In mundane terms, this means I will be absent from the internet between now and Saturday night, as per usual.

In more spiritual terms: we are in the last few hours of the old year, and about to enter the new. This past month, the month of Elul, is supposed to be about beginning the spiritual and personal self-evaluation that reaches its peak over the next ten days. I haven't been able to get into the right frame of mind yet this year, and as the song goes, that's a fault of mine that I'm working on.

Let the year and its curses conclude, we say in the liturgy; and let the year and its blessings begin.

Amen, amen, amen.
batyatoon: (star of stone)
The thanks

I received in the mail over the past week (1) a gift certificate for the Digestive Wellness website, and (2) a notification that a donation has been made to Sloan-Kettering in memory of my mother, Cynthia Galler Levin. Both of these had [livejournal.com profile] phoenixchilde's name on them, but she tells me that both of them are group efforts from The Internet.

All of you who contributed to this: thank you. Thank you guys so much. I love you all.


The request

(But first, an explanation)

So as many of you already know: in keeping with Jewish (Orthodox) law and tradition regarding mourning, I will be refraining from certain things during the year following my mother's death. These things include parties and group celebrations of any kind (including conventions), buying new clothes (except for serious necessities), and ... listening to music.

If you know me at all, you know the last one is the one that's going to be hardest. However, there is an exception: I can listen to recorded music, provided it is acapella. Voices only.

My current collection of acapella music is about 19 hours' worth. Much as I love it all, it is not going to last me a year.

This is where the request comes in. I would love it if all of you out there could recommend or share any acapella music you may have or know of. I'm going to post a list of what I already have so's to avoid duplicates -- look for that in the next hour. (Note that this is not limited to acapella groups; plenty of singers do tracks with no instrumental accompaniment.)

There's no immediate rush on this, but it would help a lot.


ETA: And since LJ doesn't seem to want to let me post a new entry (wtf?), my list of current acapella is here. I hope. *prods GoogleDocs suspiciously*
batyatoon: (each of us is one small light)
My mother passed away early yesterday morning.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at 1pm at the Schwartz Brothers funeral home. The shiva will be at the home of my father, Rabbi David Levin, in Kew Gardens Hills. If you wish to pay a condolence call, please contact [livejournal.com profile] sdelmonte for the address and directions.

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