Slow Down and Fast

Queen's Court, USC.

I got out of services around 12:30pm yesterday. I keep intending to go to the USC area to eat all the food that wasn’t here when I was a student (21 Choices, Chick-fil-A, Lemonade…), but obviously on Yom Kippur that was out of the question.

Even though I don’t fast hardcore, I wouldn’t eat in public on Yom Kippur. Gotta keep up appearances.

But I didn’t want to leave right away, so I decided to take a reflective little stroll down memory lane before heading back to my “real life.”

On Rosh Hashanah I walked around and looked at all of the new buildings– the new film school, the new student center. So on Yom Kippur, I decided to visit my favorite familiar haunts.

The first stop was the inverted fountain next to the Norris Theater (above). It’s located next to a grassy area known as Queen’s Court, because all of the surrounding buildings are named after women. It’s a really serene area. Female energy? I don’t know.

It was also nice to just chill at the fountain between Doheny and Bovard (the center of campus, I guess), because I think last time I stood there was during graduation, in a clusterfuck of a million people.

Ah, water.

Go Trojans.

I encountered a random new behemoth fountain next to Leavey Library. Which is weird, because there’s already a really awesome, well-integrated wading-pool style fountain in front of the library. I don’t know how I feel about this newbie.

How do we fell about this?

So that’s where your tuition goes, kids.

By then I was fantasizing about what I would eat to break my fast. Out of everything I could possibly choose in all of LA/the World, this is what I wanted: Chicken soup with circle cut carrots, and King’s Hawaiian bread. (Because my beloved honey/spice bread/cake is apparently off the table… sigh.)

I’m so easy.

So I drove to the Von’s in my neighborhood, because it’s totally normal for Jews to hang out in grocery stores on Yom Kippur, wearing drab gray “Mad Men” dresses that are probably 1 or 2 sizes too big on them.

On the way I happened to flip my radio to NPR and heard most of a “This American Life” segment in which Darin Strauss told the story of how he accidentally killed his high school classmate (her bike swerved in front of his car) and the fallout of that incident. It’s the subject of his new book, Half a Life.

When I got to Von’s I sat in my car for a while just listening, because the story was so compelling.  He talked about how much he thinks about the girl (Celine), and how if the tables were reversed and she had killed him, he would have wanted Celine to forget about him. He also tried to imagine scenes from her childhood, just clunking around on roller skates or whatever. I was trying not to cry, because a CRYING Jew in a grocery store on Yom Kippur is double weird.

(Ugh, and now I’m crying and I have to get get my laundry out of the dryer. That seems super pathetic, crying and doing laundry. I’m like the beginning of a rom com.)

But it felt like appropriate radio-listening on Yom Kippur. (More appropriate than the Rihanna that I was car-freak-dancing to before I flipped channels.)

The funny thing is, I left before the Yizkor service because I read ahead and it’s all sad and death-y and I didn’t want to sit around crying about death in public. (Also, superstition– from what I’ve heard, you’re not supposed to go to Yizkor if both of your parents are alive.) (I don’t want to jinx them!)

But some things are meant to happen. (I mean– hearing about death. Not jinxing my parents.)

Oh, but back to circle carrots. Maybe that phrase baffled you, because it’s an Elysse thing. For some reason I am obsessed with the circle carrots in certain Progresso soups.


Because a Jew in a drab gray dress with teary red eyes in a grocery store on Yom Kippur TAKING PICTURES OF FOOD is not weird at all.

I also bought the Hearty Chicken & Rotini (also with circle carrots), because everybody’s getting sick lately. And when I get sick, my insane need for circle carrots becomes even more profound. (This did not become a thing until a few years ago. Let me repeat: This is not a vestigial childhood weirdness. This is a full-grown adult oddity.)

I wanted to get a 4-pack of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread, but in the bread aisle they only had TWELVE packs. I was like, no way Jose, that is TOO MUCH BREAD. I almost went to a SECOND grocery store. But luckily I wandered around and fround the GIANT DISPLAY of 4-PACKS. In the front of the store.

The Hawaiian bread shrine.

YES. (It was also my breakfast today… and I still have 2 rolls left!)

Here’s my loot!

Simple tastes!

Yes, I forgot to use a canvas shopping bag on YOM KIPPUR, but when I went home I cleaned my room and this made a perfect new trash bag for my tiny bathroom trash. So I don’t feel guilty. I will not be atoning for this plastic bag next year.

I took a picture of the circle carrots because they were so amazing, but when I tried to de-blur the photo in Piknik, somehow the carrots ended up looking radioactive… and nipply?

Why do the carrots have areolas?!

Anyway, yeah. That was Yom Kippur.

And now, back to my regularly scheduling EATING.


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