Nov 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ignoring the fact that it has been an entire fiscal quarter since I posted last, I offer you the first and only picture of Nick and I (so far). In late July we ventured out to Atlantic City, NJ (where this picture is taken) to celebrate our friend John's birthday, hang out at the beach (where I acquired some irreversible freckles on my legs), tour the casinos, and other things.

After enduring a sweltering August, I spent the month of September moving some of my things in with Nick, putting the rest in storage, and vacating my apartment in Bensonhurst. Nick and I are now happily cohabitating in an admittedly noisy and real neighborhood at the edge of Crown Heights/Prospect Heights. Fall semester commenced in September, too, and so far things are going pretty well.

Nick's birthday was in October. His father came up from Oklahoma in honor of the occasion. We went to Birdland and heard some jazz, I made a special cake, and we spent the birthday afternoon and evening on the back patio of a bar up the street from our apartment, socializing and eating/drinking with our friends.

At the end of the month, we also threw a pretty epic Halloween party. The best part of it, in my opinion, was the ghostly meringues I made in honor of the occasion. They had eyes. See?

This month: Nick traveled to New Orleans. Over the summer, he did the music and sound for a show that was on the New York Fringe festival. The show got picked up by NOLA's Fringe, which was two weeks ago, and SEASTM was one of the top five shows there, selling out every performance.

It's also nearly the end of the semester, which means I have presentations and projects due quite soon in both of my classes.

As for Thanksgiving: today Nick and I are thankful for a great many things, including eye sprinkles, a good life in New York, and an abundance of great family and friends. Our meal is going to include roast lamb and vegetables, mashed potatoes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bars, and homemade french silk pie.

From New York to wherever you are: have a very happy holiday.

Jul 15, 2009

work in progress

New entry with tales and pictures of food coming soon!

In the meantime, I'm busy dashing off to play a show tonight, sorting out my C.V. to apply for jobs, figuring out the coming year, practicing, working, and finding time to hang out with dear Nick.

Hope everyone is well! To my family: I miss you!

Jun 20, 2009


Oh dear. It's been longer than it ever has. eeep.

The Life of Devora has been busy, yet uninteresting. I suppose I really should post, though.
bk phil drums
  • work: The Harmony school year ended June 1 with a concert in Levinson Hall at Brooklyn College. The kids performed really well. It was a great way to end a productive year. Starbucks goes on; I am still supervising, and getting vastly better at it. Someday soon (as in, probably this fall) I'll be moving on to better things; in the meantime, it's pretty nice to have health insurance and that sort of thing.
  • travel: I returned to Iowa in April, and saw most of you while I was back. It was long past time for a visit, and I really enjoyed most everything about being back. Including the fact that no one really ate either my couscous or my risotto, thereby leaving more for me! It also seems I have no pictures from this visit, so nothing else to say here :(
  • music: I played a show at the beginning of the month at Barbes in Park Slope. My friend Whitney George wrote a tango for solo violin at my request, which I made her rewrite because it wasn't difficult, or tango-y enough. But the rewrite was just perfect, and the audience adored the piece. I'll be performing it again next month, as I have two shows in July. After that I'll be getting ready to re-enter the world of academia, as I'll be beginning my second Master's degree in August, this time in musicology.
  • personal ramblings: Well, since my last post in-gasp- February, I have also told most of you about my boyfriend Nick. We've known each other a year and a half. He is finishing his Master's degree in composition at Brooklyn College. His first year was my second/last year doing my M.M. We continue to be friends, and began casually dating in late September. There really wasn't much to tell at that point, but things are going really well, which is why I am now telling!!
Anyway. These days I mostly live at his place, which is now passably clean and ... well, more domesticated than it was ten months ago. We like cooking together, and make really outrageously good meals. Last night, for example, we wanted to use up leftover rice. So I made (homemade) basil pesto-stuffed chicken cutlets, served over the rice with a homemade tomato cream sauce and homemade french silk pie for dessert. Did I mention that I made everything myself?? It was really really good! And of course there are no pictures. And then there's the risotto/basil/onion/feta/cheddar omlettes I make, which are soooo delicious. Someday I will return to Iowa and make all of this yummy food for you. We planted an herb garden about a month ago, because we like to use fresh herbs. It has done very well on Nick's fire escape, as you can see.

The big bunch on the left is mint. The stringy stuff in the middle is cilantro, and the stuff on the right is sweet basil. The plants are all doing really well. Especially the mint, which has happily taken off since being planted in our window box a month ago. The cilantro and one of the basil plants were, until recently, overshadowed by a rather large geranium (so I wanted a flowering plant). Tonight I repotted the geranium in its own svelte pot, and added a third basil plant to the window box. Hopefully the cilantro and basil will catch up with the mint; to be fair, Nick and I LOVE basil, and have made very good use of our plants since we bought them.

Epilogue: The geranium moved to the living room, where it has taken up residence near a very nice fern plant. The window box has returned to its place on the fire escape, next to a partially depleted lemon verbena plant. Two respectable pots of begonias keep a weather eye out the dining room window; the spider plant tends to look upon them a bit reproachfully, although the leafy plant on the dining room table has expanded in two directions, as if welcoming the begonias anyway with outspread arms.

Feb 16, 2009

Hello again

The last time I wrote in here, I was awaiting my new oven. Wooonderful news: it came!!! And it is brand, sparkly-new. See?

I have done a great deal of cooking-baking in the past six weeks, and it has been terribly awesome. I made lemon streusel muffins this past weekend, as well as spinach-feta omelettes, Lebanese rice, and goat cheese and sun-dried tomato-stuffed chicken breasts. I've made shortbread cookies, lasagna, fish, chicken, risotto, gourmet mac 'n cheese, quiche, and probably several more yummy dishes I'm forgetting now. It's been awesome, though. So very awesome. And the oven has a light, which brings back memories of Bubbie's oven and watching cookies bake as a young child.

My new store opened the first week of January. It's clean and bright, with the only set of awesome red chairs in the entire city (really!). The baristas are great, my manager is super nice, and so far working here is proving to be an infinitely better experience than working those last few months at Union Square. And the new store is only three blocks uptown from my old store, which means I have the exact same commute as before. Terribly, terribly convenient.

The store has not been without its adventures, though. I walked in to work the first Sunday the store was open, to discover that a sprinkler had gone off and flooded the apartment directly above our store, which resulted in massive amounts of water gushing down the walls and windows in our hallway in front of Bank of America. So instead of having a relaxing afternoon maintaining a spotless store and making the occasional latte for customers, I instead spent three fun-filled hours sweeping water towards a floor drain, and scrubbing ceiling plaster and other muck out of our new tile floor.

Luckily, the super- intendent, maintenance guy, doorman, and several other men who work at the apartment complex next door/ above us came to help us clean up.

Teaching is also going well. My little violin students are progressing. One boy got his very own violin for his birthday last week, which was exciting for the entire class (the instruments belong to the after-school program, you see, and the students are not yet allowed to take their instruments home with them). The kids are learning and playing increasingly well. And they're starting to actually like me, which is perplexing and also strangely rewarding. This week is midwinter recess for NYC public schools, which means no after-school teaching for me.

But that's ok, because Thursday night my dfe friends and I are putting on a show at a place in Williamsburg called Monkey Town. We've been rehearsing string trios for the past few weeks in order to prepare. The show should be really fun. We have photographer and videographer friends who will be documenting the evening, so with any luck I'll have some neat pictures to post up here in a few weeks!

That's all for now. Time to get ready for rehearsal ....

Jan 14, 2009

It is finished

Today I *finally* submitted the last of my applications. I suppose it's a nice feeling: no more holing up in front of my computer every spare moment, no more stress over finishing in time.

Now I just have to wait. And wait. And fiercely hope for at least one acceptance letter, and maybe an offer of financial aid.

I think I'll be glad to get on with things. I've been a lousy relative lately, and an indifferent friend. And my apartment is a huge dirty mess from having gone six weeks, at least, without really cleaning.

Aaaaaaaaaaand my oven is broken. No baking for me for ... well, several days. Too bad, too, because I actually need to bake. My landlord came up this evening to tinker, but not knowing anything at all about ovens, didn't accomplish anything useful. So he left and returned several minutes later with a tape measure. Looks like we're going to be getting a new stove. Yay, I think. I just want a working oven: it's a rather important appliance when one does not own a microwave.

Anyway. Time to go make dinner and clean and stuff.

Hope everyone's year is off to a good start!