#1,2, and 7- ask your priest. That's a common answer here, but in all honesty that's the best one for those two. If you have any doubts about your prayer rule or questions about fasting, ask your priest. That's what he's there for.
Joining the OP in his consternation. This type of answer isn't helpful to those of us with priests who a hands-off approach and/or are very busy with a larger parish.
I suppose more helpful would be to say: "If all else fails, find the oldest parishioner who speaks English and ask him/her what they've been doing".
Given the vastly different approaches each of the American jurisdictions take it gets dicey, like with vegetable oil. The Antiochian jurisdiction allows it, my GOA priest told me no. I haven't found out what the OCA practice is yet (if it's even standardized), my current priest has a hands-off approach....
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but is not the original intent that one should abstain from olive oil because it is an expensive luxury?
By that logic there are a lot of modern things not explicitly covered by the fasting rules that should maybe be avoided as well. Chocolate, coffee, coca cola etc. especially come to mind. Vegetable oil perhaps not so much.
Regarding abstaining from luxurious food items, I should point out that olive oil is not considered a luxury these days. Speaking of this (very healthy) oil, I remember the two reasons why the the Imam (sort of a Muslim priest) fainted when he ate "Imam Bayildi," the justifiably famous, delectable and plain yummy Turkish eggplant dish. The first was that the faint was caused by the Imam's delight in smelling and eating this vegetarian dish. The second reason was that he had found out how much of this (then) expensive olive oil had cost.
BTW, I agree with Shanghaiski about the "richness" of food being a predominant factor and I would add that quantity is also a critical factor in any fasting regimen. I also agree with other posters who have pointed the variances in praxis, where not one may be said to be inferior to the others. Finally, I should say that the fasting regimen itself is not nearly as important as the fact of us subjecting ourselves to that regimen. That goes habd in hand with the reason why we fast. I guess what I am driving at is that fasting from
certain foods is not an end in itself but a vehicle for spiritual growth. Indeed, fasting without praying and alms giving is not going to be efficacious. Fasting/prayer/alms giving must also be practiced in a self-effacing manner. The upshot of all of this verbiage is that you should not do more or less than your fellow parishioners unless your priest wants you to.
I sense that you want to do the right thing. That is commendable and you can certainly pick up any prayer and fasting rule and follow it. It is my experience that, generally speaking, the Russian practices are longer, more elaborate, and stricter than other traditions. If such considerations are important for you--go for them! However, I really think that you should consider the "why" of it as you address the "what, when and where" of it. (I also think that you should make a conscious effort not to seem "holier than thou" to your fellow parishioners--that is, if your prayer life and fasting practices are different from theirs). The reason behind Orthopraxy is often more important than the praxis itself and you, as a baptized and illumined disciple of the Lord, have the duty to find out what these reasons are. Yes, the priest is your spiritual father and he has been blessed by the Holy Spirit in his vocation, and therefore you must listen to him. Yet, you are still obligated to also reason for yourself, to decide for yourself--even if you end up doing what your priest tells you to do.
Regarding prayers, it seems to me that the Trisagion prayers are an integral part of any Orthodox public prayer service and should therefore be also part of personal (or family) morning and evening prayers. As many writers, priests, and fellow Orthodox have said, however, what you mean (that is what you are really telling the Lord) is so much more significant than the verbiage that you use that we Orthodox, alone in the Christian world, have the Jesus prayer. You must be aware that some practitioners of this prayer have reduced it from: "Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,, have mercy on me a (the) sinner" to "Lord have mercy" and even just "Jesus." In each instance, the one who prays says the same thing but the words are different. Similarly with the Lord's Prayer: the phrase "Thy Will be done" may also be a distillation of the entire prayer to those four words.
Looking at those morning and evening prayers, one is struck by the inclusion of prayers that are appropriate for those times of day. In the morning we thank the Lord for having watched over us during the night and ask Him to help us during the coming day (I really like Metropolitan Philaret's prayer for the coming day, BTW). In the evening, the same approach is used and also includes a prayer or two for the forgiveness of sins that we have committed during that day. But, we are to pray if we have fallen short anyway so that a prayer for forgiveness is always appropriate at any time. Our daily prayers should also include intercessions for the living ailing and those who have passed on simply because it is our duty to do so. Some prayer rules also include the Creed--I suspect as a teaching/learning tool.
Since there are indeed some variances in the prayers that are included and in the various translations, I think that it would be salutary for you as the spiritual leader of your household to lead the development of a draft proposed set of prayers and your family's proposed fasting practices to present to your priest for his approval. Finally, I wish you a healthy, safe and blessed 2011.