Monday, December 9, 2013
If I were only devoted to sports, this weekend would have been a disaster. The Rangers lost two games back-to-back at home to traditional rivals. Then, the Giants flew all the way out to San Diego, California and forgot how to play football once they arrived there. Fortunately, there were other activities that provided sufficient enjoyment to rescue the weekend. Saturday morning, our synagogue welcomed new members; there was a lovely birthday party for Dr. Roger P. on Saturday night. Sunday morning, we heard Mel Scult, that formidable scholar, discuss his new biography of Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. Afterwards, we traveled to Shop-Rite in Englewood, New Jersey to refill the refrigerator and pantry depleted by Thanksgiving and Hanukkah celebrations. In fact, with the extremely early coming and going of Hanukkah, historically unprecedented it seems, my holiday bustling about is done. Of course, I will not ignore a bargain, as I found at the New York Public Library shop on Friday, rebuilding my inventory for next year’s gift giving. However, I don’t yet have a sense of urgency about being ready for the first candle on Tuesday night, December 16, 2014.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Just as our modern society recognizes certain differences between men and women, straights and gays, innies and outies, there is a gulf between pet people and the rest of us that sometimes bewilders me. Today’s New York Law Journal, for instance, describes the contest by a divorcing couple over custody of their 2 ½-year old miniature dachshund. A New York County judge ruled that the custody determination should depart from precedents which either simply rejected treating a pet as one would a child in a custody battle or automatically considering a pet as personal property, chattel in lawyer lingo. For better or worse, the methodology laid out by the judge went untested because the parties reached an agreement before the judge did.
I’m not completely insensitive to the affection and feeling of companionship one might have for a pet, some pets at least. However, having worked in divorce court (officially – a matrimonial part of Supreme Court) for over three years, I’ve seen how warring couples can invest animate and inanimate objects with global significance, warranting a scorched-earth policy, if necessary, to effect JUSTICE. A sofa will remain unchanged if it is the object of such a controversy. However, I am certain that Junior would suffer under those circumstances and maybe Fido would as well.
For a short time in the spring of this year, 21 Division Street was home to CM Malaysian Restaurant (April 3, 2013). It closed quickly and the site was empty until recently when Gold River Malaysian Cuisine opened, totally renovated with a simple, undistinguished interior. The food, on the other hand, quite distinguishes itself. I started, as I invariably do in a Malaysian restaurant, with roti canai ($3.50), the Indian pancake with curry dipping sauce. The pancake was a little crumbly, hard to fold without making a mess. However, the sauce had a real tang and contained a few pieces of beef, not just chunks of potato. I chose beef rendang over rice from over 30 lunch specials, all at $6. There was a generous amount of rice and highly-spiced beef. They could have borrowed the title spicy & tingly beef from Xi’An Famous Foods without apology. In addition to the lunch specials, predominantly familiar Chinese dishes, the menu includes Thai and Malay items, such as Hainanese chicken, mee Siam and pad Thai, and more obscure dishes. My devotion to West New Malaysia Restaurant, in the arcade between the Bowery and Elizabeth Street, will surely be tested by future visits to Gold River.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
As a kid, I had a very realistic cap pistol. It looked like a Colt .45, all shiny chrome. My attraction to firearms ended about then. Possibly a bigger divide exists between gun people and the rest of us than between pet people and non-pet people, although standing on the outside in both instances, I detect a common need for reassurance and personality enhancement in many of those who grasp for animals and guns. Maybe the best (worst) expression of the emotional neediness of many gun people is the history of gun control legislation in the year since the murder of schoolchildren in Newtown, CT. The New York Times reviewed the approximately 1,500 bills dealing with guns introduced in state legislatures in this period.
interactive/2013/12/10/us/ state-gun-laws-enacted-in-the- year-since-newtown.html?hp
It found that 109 have become law throughout the country; 39 tighten gun restrictions, 70 loosen gun restrictions. For instance, as of now, Arkansas allows guns in places of worship; Louisiana allows issuance of lifetime concealed handgun permits; North Carolina (not alone) allows firearms in bars; Utah prohibits the sharing of firearms permit information with the federal government. This last one inspires me to suggest that the federal government prohibit its Centers for Disease Control from sharing information with Utah.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
With the temperature stuck in the mid-20s, Michael Ratner and I drank a lot of hot tea at Mika Japanese Cuisine & Bar, 150 Centre Street (July 19, 2011). Otherwise, we went without hot food as we ate a lot of sushi and sashimi. We shared a Love Boat ($45), a large platter of about a dozen different items, all tasting fresh and good. Adding to our pleasure was the coupon from Restaurant.com which covered the first $25 for only a few bucks. For the New York area, Restaurant.com is worth keeping in mind. It does not represent the most elegant collection of restaurants, but you are likely to find a coupon for a familiar place and save some money. Coupon prices vary; they are almost always running a promotion. Two weeks ago, I purchased coupons for four restaurants (including Mika), with redemption values of $15 to $50, for $1.80 to $6, unbelievably low cost. You have to spend more than face value, typically 50% more to use the coupon, and fixed price meals are often excluded. However, with a little attention to detail, you can eat more for less, my mantra.
Friday, December 13, 2013
"Congratulations once again on your admission to Fordham University."
Congratulations to my older brother because he became even older today.
Oops! It seems that while my brother's birthday is irrevocable, 2,500 Fordham applicants were falsely informed this week that they were admitted by early admission. It seems that an outside contractor handling financial aid applications made a bit of a mistake. In fact, 500 of these kids are being rejected for admission and 2,000 are being deferred. Happy Holidays!