Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Mitzvah? Bat Mitzvah!

This Saturday was my cousin Bonnie's bat mitzvah. In Judaism, when a girl or boy reaches the age of 13 they are accepted into the community as an adult. A special service commemorates this milestone and the entire family and synagogue celebrate. Did I mention it is a really long service? It began at 9:30 Saturday morning (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday is the Jewish sabbath) and lasted until almost 1:00. I think this might have had something to do with there also being a baby naming ceremony, but whatevs.

Mom and I arrived at the synagogue at about 11 and snuck into the back. Of course all Mom's cousins (she has 17!) recognized us right away because we are these two red-headed splotches in the back row, but it was ok. While my cousin's synagogue is conservative, with such a long service it is not uncommon for people to stand up and move around, go to the back to chat and visit, or have to take their kids out when they get fussy. Most people walked right by Mom and I and kind of stared. I chalk this up to 1) they didn't recognize us and in a tight-knit community they wondered who the strangers were and 2) I in no way look Jewish. Although Mom does except for her red hair. She is a wee little Jewish woman!

As part of the service, Bonnie was required to read for the Torah. Although Jews don't just read. They sing the text. So Bonnie (who had just turned 13) had to stand up in front of hundreds of people and sing. In Hebrew. And then she had to give a speech. But that was in English, whew! She handled herself with grace and aplomb and sounded really good! Turns out that all Mom's cousins are great singers. I think we should take our act on the road: The Meiselman Family Singers (and Maggie).

After the service (finally) ended, we retired to the gathering room where we had lunch. But of course we had to bless the food and that took another 10 minutes of praying/singing. Then we dug in, mingled with the family, and I scored an invite to a Passover Seder in April. Sweet! The best part of the afternoon was after the eating was done, we did more praying/singing, but this time it was awesome praying in celebration of Bonnie with hand clapping, feet stomping and much harmonization. The only little hiccup was when my uncle (my Mom's brother), told her she had to put our camera away because we couldn't take pictures in the synagogue on the sabbath. She got all offended and huffy and was mad at him. But she's always mad at him so I tried to brush it off but she kind of fixated on it for the rest of the day. I'm trying to talk her into coming to the Seder with me, but who knows.

Overall, we had a great time and it was nice to see my family in a non-funeral environment. That seems to be the only time we all get together anymore. Mazletov Bonnie!

Mom's Quote of the Day: "I sure am glad I was raised reformed. It took a lot less time to do stuff. There was a heck of a lot less praying."

Currently Listening to: Summer Mix! The calendar says Spring dammit.

Currently Reading: "Labyrinth" by Kate Mosse

Monday, March 20, 2006

St. Patrick's Day 2006

Ah, St. Patrick's Day. When everyone is Irish, and the people who are actually Irish look down on those pretending to be Irish. It's great! And to add to the wonderfulness, Eric and Selvi came into town for a mini-bridge club reunion. Alas, Chris was on his cruise (screw him!) but at least we got to see Hehe.

Eric arrived on Thursday night. But there is much more to the story than that. Apparently some very responsible DC National Airport employee "thought" he "might" have seen "something resembling" a box cutter on someone who had already passed through security. So they shut down the terminal. AND made everyone who had already been through security go back through and get rescanned. Which means no flights left DC for about 3 hours. Unfortunately for me, when I checked the internet for the flight status it said "On Time." As in, come on down sucker, nothing to see here, your friend will be here on time! And of course I don't get Eric's messages telling me his flight hadn't even left yet until I am standing in the terminal. So I went home and watched Supernatural in the meantime. Booyah!

On Friday morning Selvi joined us and we went to a local high school to see the William and Mary Wind Symphony (formerly Concert Band, but apparently they are too cool for that now). It was fun and the band sounded amazing. And I swear to god, the following conversation took place:

Selvi: GO PETE!
Random School Official: We are trying to discourage the kids from doing that.
Selvi: *shame*
Pete: Oh my god kill me now.

Here is a picture of Eric, Selvi, and I with some of the current band kids. Aren't they cute??!!

And then here is my and Andrew. I haven't decided how I feel about the facial hair yet. Redheads unite!

Friday afternoon-night we spent at an Irish pub in Old Town Alexandria called Murphy's. It was PACKED and there was quite a police presence (as you can see in the pics). But we scored a sweet spot by the window which allowed for a breeze and not too much crowding for the slack jawed (drunken) yockels. There was much alcohol consumed, but we kicked it old school, because my MOM drove us and picked us up. That's right, my Mom drove her 26 year old drunken daughter around. She rocks.

Saturday was bridge day! We trekked out to Hehe's place in Herndon (or as I affectionately call it, Purgatory) and played some bride! See below. Selvi was craving some veggies I guess. But really, she should have left the tree alone.

Eric's contemplating his cards.

Hehe and Selvi!

Me: When was your last car accident?
Selvi: That wasn't an accident! It was a minor mishap.
Me: Yeah, it wasn't an accident, you meant to drive into that ditch.

Oh, and did I mention that last week Josh and Donna totally made out on The West Wing? It's like John Wells finally listened to the psychic vibrations I was sending his way. Either that or he was afraid I would fly out to LA and KICK HIS ASS.

Currently watching: Swingers

Currently Reading: "The Amber Spyglass" by Phillip Pullman

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Twist My Arm Why Don't Cha

As I say in my profile, I have tried hard to bury my inner nerd, but it always seems to find it's way out (like that scene in Alien and Spaceballs). One of my guilty pleasures is the Sci-Fi series Battlestar Galactica that currently airs on Friday nights. Although I always have to tape it, because I'm not so lame that I'm sitting home on Friday night, but I think we can all agree I'm still a geek.

My mentor at work (the senior attorney who was assigned to train me) is also apparently a big nerd, because he watches the show as well. Although he is even a BIGGER nerd because he keeps trying to convince me to watch the original series from the 1970s. This would be the Battlestar Gallactica that starred Dirk Benedict. Dirk Benedict who played Face on the A-Team. Yeah, it's that bad.

Here is an email he sent me this afternoon trying to convince me to watch the original series:

From: Wight, David L
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 15:06
To: Riley, Margaret
Subject: RE: original BG

The original series has hidden Pandas throughout each episode.
Apollo's not a big wuss and he doesn’t have to resort to hookers.
You also get to meet his long lost sister.
Boomer kicks ass without whinning all the time.

Your life would be more fulfilled if you saw it.

Harry Potter is in it and Veronica Mars has a cameo.

Now. This is very funny to me. Because it tells me how easy I am to read when it comes to my hobbies. All he has to do is drop in pandas and Veronica Mars and I am all over it. Although this time I have successfully resisted. Good thing he didn't tell me Jensen Ackles was in it, I would have updated my Netflix que with that shit in 2 seconds.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dear Jon, you rock! Smooches, Maggie.

It does seem a bit strange all the praise Hollywood seems to lavish on itself. But we still love it, and we still watch it. Although judging from the ratings, not enough people watch it. But personally, I thought Jon Stewart was one of the best Oscar hosts I have ever seen. But I bet he played better on the tv than he did live. Sarcastic, sharp wit aside, Jon Stewart does have a quiet elegance about him. And he looked so darn cute in a tux! Speaking of tuxes and looking good, here are some of picks from Oscar night gowns:

Oh, and P.S. my best dressed overall pick is Meryl Streep. But I cannot for the life of me find a good picture of her and her dress. I'll keep lookin! But if you saw her, you know she looked AMAZING.

He's so cute! Can I take him home? Please??

Reese FINALLY gets it right after her fashion debacles at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. She bought her vintage Dior in Paris and had it restored back in the States. Her hair, make-up, and jewelry all look perfect. And I do not know what Tim Gunn was smoking when he said this dress looked "dowdy." Bravo, Reese!

If Selma had pulled her hair back and tossed on a necklace, I probably would have given her best dressed. I just don't get the bare neck look. You people are rich, so wrap yourself in diamonds! Show us how the other half lives!

Mom's Oscar Quote of the Day (during the Oscar telecast):

Marie Curie "We have discovered a new element!"
Mom: "And now we will get cancer!"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Michael Freaking Buble!

Friday was the big day. After months of anticipation, Michael Freaking Buble (Boo-blay) performed at DAR Constitution Hall in DC. Arista had planned on accompanying me, but she was called away for a job interview in Charlotte, North Carolina. While I am vexed she is considering moving to such a far away locale, I have decided not to give her too much crap over it. I think she and Mike want to buy a large home for all the children and/or cats they are planning on having, and housing costs are much more reaonable there. Or maybe she just hates us. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that one.

Anyhoo, it seemed like everyone in the free world had plans for Friday night, but Chris came through in a pinch and accompanied me, despite his dog Phoebe giving birth that night to her second litter of puppies. Thankfully, his devoted partner K-Fed (aka Kent) was home to watch over the expectant mother. Get hot water and towels! (question--what do people do with the hot water in those situations? I guess wash the baby when it comes out all slimy. But I digress.)

We went to dinner at Bertucci's on Connecticut Avenue and then cabbed down to Constitution Hall where we had to stand outside in the cold until they opened the doors. Our seats turned out to be awesome, diagonally off the stage and in the top row. We could see the entire stage and had a great view of Michael.

Michael was sporting a black Hugo Boss suit with a purple button down shirt underneath. I know this because he and his band did a faux runway show. It was pretty hot. This is in addition to his Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson impressions. Oh, yes, there was crotch grabbing. He performed his usual stage antics, running into the audience for hugs and pictures, talking to members of the audience from the stage, cracking jokes through the set, and allowing his band to shine with a fab rendition of "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing." He is a class act. I think I almost swooned a couple times.

But the best part was the very end of the concert. At his second encore, Michael abandoned his mike and sang the last verse of his song (basically a valentine to the audience for their love and support) acapella. The entire hall was silent as he simply stood on stage and sang to us. We could hear every word and it really was an amazing moment. Sigh. I love him so.

I had concocted this elaborate fantasy in my head, where I was wandering about the hall looking for the bathroom or something, and I just happened to bump into him and drop my bag. He, of course, stopped to help me pick things up, and then one thing led to another and he invited me to travel with him on tour. Alas, it was not to be.

Michael Freaking Buble quote of the day: "I'm so happy to be back in Washington. Last time I was here, the Post gave me a great review, saying I sang like a bird. And while that was really nice of them, it kind of made me nervous to come back, because I may sing like a bird, but I hope Dick Cheney doesn't mistake me for one."

Michael Freaking Buble quote of the day part deux: "I want to thank you men for coming out tonight. I know your girlfriends and wives dragged you out here. Look at this way, I put air in the tires, and you get to ride her all the way home."

He is quite raunchy you know. And it's hott.

Currently Watching: Oscars baby!

Currently Reading: "The Subtle Knife" by Phillip Pullman

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Michigan: Where the people hate the gays, but love their unions! Go figure.

So I wrote this huge long post where I said everything I did on my trip to Michigan and then blogger ate it. ATE IT. As in, it's gone. Well, sorry dudes. I am not typing that shit all over again. So here are the pics:

This are Bill's friends Eric and Diane, and their new baby, Rebecca. She is the cutest thing ever. She's so wee!

This is me and Amanda, my bf from high school, at this awesome chocolate shop in Ann Arbor. Amanda, Bill, and I went out Friday night and had a fab dinner at this restaraunt called "Gratzi!" which totally makes me think of some gay dude running into the street, throwing up his hat Mary Tyler Moore style, and shouting "GRATZI!" We then went back to Amanda's lovely (but very beige, girl needs to paint a wall) apartment and watched Rent. And the three hour documentary about Jonathan Larson. Jesus, it was long, and depressing.

On Saturday, Bill, Amanda, Nathan, Holly, and I went to Canada for dinner. Yes folks, we went to another country. For dinner. It was cool. As Bill said "Detroit never looks better than when you are looking at it from another country." We went to a very posh restaurant and then to an Irish pub with a live Celtic band. We took pics down by the river separating Canada from Detroit.

Bill's on the left and Nathan is on the right. He's making a freaky face, but he's really nice. I swear. And he almost spit up his drink about 10 times when I would say something amusing. Like it's my fault he chooses to drink when I am trying to be charming?

Other random Michigan thoughts:

--I got to drive stick again, and I mean on a car, you sickos. I totally rocked out, no stalling, so lurching, it was like falling off a horse, or riding a bike. Whichever.

--All of Bill's friends are having babies and some of them are YOUNGER than me. Weird. But I just got out of school! This is what I tell myself so I don't feel bad.

--It is cold in Michigan. I was cold the whole time. And I'm sorry, I was not being a wuss. When it's 20 degrees outside BEFORE the wind blows, it is effing cold.

Bill's Quote of the Day:

Bill: When we get back to the house, we can watch "Secondhand Lions!"
Me: *gagging noises*
Bill: I love how you support me in all my endeavors.

Mom's Quote of the Day: "When I interview with Warren he will probably ask me 'how do you plan to get over this personality defect where nobody likes you?' and I'm going to say, 'you are full of shit, Warren!"

Currently Watching: "Lost" Gah, I am so mainstream. But I am ONLY watching Lost because Veronica Mars is a rerun and I am pissed about the second hiatus.

Currently Reading: "The Lincoln Lawyer" by Michael Connelly